Show some respect

Resident concerned about the actions she saw demonstrated against the homeless

To the two young men who took the homeless person’s sign and were laughing and taking selfies with it in front of the Vernon Walmart at around 9:30 p.m. Dec. 21, I stood there for about a minute in shock because I could not believe what you were doing.

You had nice winter coats on and were laughing and snapping pictures with a smartphone and so I quickly realized it wasn’t your cardboard sign.

I wanted to say something but I was scared of what you might do. So I shook my head and kept walking to my car.

You’ve probably put those pictures up on Facebook or Instagram by now. Maybe you even got a couple of likes and shares from your friends. I hope one of them sees this letter and shows it to you.

I think you should take the time to take a good, long look at those photos and then look at yourself in the mirror.

You probably have not, and will not, know what it’s like to have to hold that sign in real life.

You probably have not, and will not, know what it would be like to sleep on the streets on a night like tonight.

You probably have not, and will not, feel hunger, or suffer from mental health issues or an addiction.

I suggest you both take a moment and contemplate what it’s like to need to hold up that sign to survive.

While I may not have ever been homeless, I have been poor when I was young.

I have also volunteered my time working with vulnerable people, more than a few vulnerable people in fact.

As such, I feel empathy and respect for vulnerable people.

I feel sorry for you.

 

Melissa Peet

Vernon