After reading “Homeless poet casts light on darkness” for the second time in “Year in Review” published Dec. 28, I felt a need to respond.
Mr. La Greca is quoted as saying, “you would think that all of Vernon would be mine as I was born here, but I’m getting to the point where I’ve got a small, little, converted hotel room and that’s where I’m supposed to stay because people with big honking pickup trucks and fashions coming out their (butts) cannot accept that a person like me exists in Vernon. I have a right to be here as much as they do.”
Agencies he was referred to made no “real effort into solving problems for ordinary people who cannot fit into the middle-class ideal of what Vernon should be.” He cast aspersions onto any city wishing to “be a destination tourist trap.”
In response; B.C. is a tourist province/Vernon a lot to offer. Like many middle-class families in Vernon, we don’t own a “honking pickup truck” but do have a reliable vehicle (with a “honking” car payment), as well as a mortgage payment and requisite insurance, taxes and utility bills.
For Mr. La Greca to say that no one in Vernon makes a real effort to help; is disrespectful to all the agencies that assist those with every social issue (space does not permit me to name all.)
He has received mentoring as well as support through government agencies nearly all his life, including attendance at universities across Canada. While it is not clear who paid for his education, he quoted, “I found professors who espoused noble ideas and went around oppressing other individuals.”
Mr. La Greca, I hope your poetry book launch gave people a better insight into homelessness. While you were articulate, you did yourself and your community a great disservice.
By constantly deriding the middle class and the agencies that have helped you over the years; in addition to taking no responsibility for your own life choices, you have not furthered your cause.
Respect is a funny thing… it has to be earned and not just given.