Sunday, June 18, 2006

Letter: Government should be
ashamed of itself, Las Vegas Sun

Letter: Government should be ashamed of itself

The Las Vegas City Council, Mayor Oscar Goodman and the city attorney have completed their heartless actions against the homeless by denying them the basics of life, food and shelter.

If only they had kept their word in September 2001 when at the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition / U.S. Housing and Urban Development summit, they announced a regional effort to address chronic homelessness.

It didn't take too long before regional cooperation gave way to punitive action, by Mayor Goodman and the Las Vegas City Council. Police sweeps, selective enforcement of laws against the homeless, attacks against service providers and now the ultimate denial of food by those the mayor calls enablers.

Where is the outcry from those in the religious community, who are not fulfilling the basic tenet of all religions: care for the weakest among us. Where is the outrage from the veterans organizations in behalf of homeless veterans? Where is the outrage from the average citizen for all of the homeless? Do Americans only respond with generosity, compassion and charity when foreigners are in need?

If only instead of punitive actions five years ago, services had been given money, lives would have been saved.

All regional governments share in the shame and disgrace of homelessness in the richest valley in the country.

Frank Perna, Las Vegas

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