« ‘Straight talk’ from Miami judge | Main | Abortion isn’t always selfish »

March 05, 2009

Sympathy for beggars

In response to Bill O’Brien’s letter (3/1,”KC must crack down on begging”) concerning Kansas City’s homeless population, I would like to say that we are all in this together.

As I read the letter to my family at the breakfast table, our jaws got closer to the floor with every talking-point stereotype put forth. I kept waiting for him to offer a solution that would help get people off the streets. Harassing the homeless with laws is so 20th century.

Mr. O’Brien may want to consider volunteering to work with the people he so easily dismisses. Once he got to know them, maybe he would be a little more connected to the world around him.

Barry Bernstein
Overland Park

My husband, who frequently travels through the Plaza, keeps a collection of $5 restaurant gift cards in his glove compartment. It is a win-win. The homeless person gets a good meal, and the business where the card was purchased makes some money.

Many of the homeless are mentally ill. It’s not a lifestyle most of them would have chosen. A little compassion would go a long way.

Patti Dickinson



Nothing is ever so simplistic, as to be pigeon holed or categorized with a cursory glance and a condescending, opinionated analogy. If you can't help someone, please don't further demean them.


I give to charities that help the unwillingly destitute. I will not give a handout to a bum.


Here's on company beggars looking for work can start. There are plenty of jobs available.



Some of the homeless want to be where they are, I watched a documentary about Skid Row in L.A. It was some rapper that went undercover, the majority of the people there said they do not want to change, they like where they are but want people to give them money for drugs, alcohol, cigarettes.
Certainly this is not the case for every homeless person and those that do not desire to be should recieve options.
I refuse to give homeless people money, I will and do offer to buy them a meal or personal affects, more often than not the flip me the bird.


What!!??? There are homeless folks now that the Messiah is Prez??? What a shccker!


I agree with Barry on this one. When I read the original letter, I kept waiting for the writer to offer an alternative, but alas, nothing more than "spend your money at struggling businesses instead".

The original point that "street-giving" is half-baked at best considering the addictions that many homeless deal with is a valid one, but neglects the viable alternatives such as Patti's. Additionally, giving directly to shelters and organizations that serve this needy segment is a way to help without facilitating the addictions.

About KansasCity.com | About the Real Cities Network | Terms of Use & Privacy Statement | About Knight Ridder | Copyright