Friday, December 6, 2013

With apologies to the young people: a call for civility

An Open Letter…

To the Young People of Ocean County:

First off, let me apologize on behalf of the grown-ups in our county.  Some horrible, nasty, angry things were said about homeless people the other night at a county meeting.  Not all of us feel the way some of those who spoke at the meeting do; we do not think that homeless people ‘want to be there’ in Tent City nor would we ever kick out a loved one who was struggling with addiction or a mental health issue and needed a place to stay.  We certainly don’t want our neighbors sleeping in tents out in the cold or in their cars in a parking lot.  Some of us have been homeless at one point in our lives, you may have been too.  We would never, ever force you to live without food or shelter just as you wouldn’t want that to happen to us.  If you have a loved one, maybe an older brother or sister or even your mom or dad who is struggling, maybe lost a job, can’t pay the rent or mortgage, is suffering from an illness, is disabled or older, would you kick that loved one out?  Of course not!  I bet you’d do everything you could to help them.  Well, we grownups in the county certainly haven’t helped those in need the way we should.  We stick our heads in the sand and hope the homeless will just go away.  For that I am so, so sorry.  We promise to do better.  Maybe you can help…. Truth be told, I think we need your help!


Ginger Harris

Homelessness Ended through Local Partners

1 comment:

  1. Ms. Harris, THANK YOU for this. I have a thirteen-year-old daughter and nine-year-old twin sons who assist me in helping the homeless of Tent City, and they agree with everything you've said. And yes, it is heartbreaking that they need to see adults in power treat the most vulnerable like rubbish to be discarded and forgotten.

    I have my own blog at in which I share stories of my visits to Tent City, interactions with the residents and other volunteers, and various editorial content. Again, thank you for giving a voice to the poor and speaking out against the gross injustices that are committed against them.