I am responding to the article, “Proposed Shelter Raises Concerns: Citizens forewarn potential crime spike.” As someone who has volunteered at the Saturday soup kitchen Bread of Angels at St. Angela Merici Church, I have had the privilege of working with the homeless and poor. Almost invariably, I have found them to be courteous, gracious, friendly and very grateful for the meals that we provide.
Many of the poor have lost their jobs and ended up on the street. Others have evident mental health issues. The majority of the population may walk by a homeless person and never notice him or her on the street or in the public library, as the homeless often keep a low profile.
While I can understand why some might be concerned about having a homeless shelter in Fullerton so close to CSUF, I doubt that the crime rate would increase. In addition, I would hope that our campus and larger community would see the homeless as what they are—individuals in need—rather than mere eyesores or public nuisances. I know that it is tempting to turn away from the poor, but they are among us and I believe that we as a society are responsible for assisting them.
After all, given adverse circumstances, we could be them.
- Terry Saenz
Communicative Disorders professor
Department of Human Communication Studies