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What can you do for them? Try respect
Steven Lukas raises some thought-provoking questions in his Dec. 4 commentary, “The wrong side of recovery.” And they don’t have easy answers. What should we do when we encounter a homeless person?
As someone who works with homeless individuals for a living, I can tell you what they tell us. One of the most impactful things you can do is to simply offer a smile and a “hello.”
Too often, the homeless are ignored and made to feel like they don’t exist. The dignity and respect of a smile and greeting accomplishes more than anyone can know in helping to boost confidence and self-esteem — that same confidence and self-esteem necessary to begin moving toward recovery.
Saying hello won’t end homelessness, and it won’t make living outdoors any easier. But the fact is, it’s far less important that a person is homeless than that we treat him or her like a person to begin with.
The writer is director of homeless outreach for People Incorporated Mental Health Services, St. Paul
Use lights in snow, but take care with brights
The Letter of the Day “Drivers: Don’t be in the dark about headlights, snowstorms” (Dec. 6) could not have come at a better time. Yes, drivers, please turn on your headlights in bad weather. However, I have noticed that more drivers are driving with their high beams turned on at all times. Their lights blind me and other drivers as we’re approaching their vehicles. My father told me to turn the high beams down when a car is coming toward you. Isn’t this common courtesy?
MARY McVEY, Woodbury
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.