Truth or Consequences likes their dogs, as do I, and they like everyone else’s as well. I read in the paper, locals worried about their dogs in the shelter since it’s turned colder, donated a bunch of little blankies to the doggies who are inside.

I can relate to locals on this level, but I don’t get why they never mind those humans outside in this cold with nowhere to go. These homeless, helpless victims of a cold society are somehow seen as at fault in their predicament. I even hear it said that they choose this lifestyle – with nowhere to use the bathroom, no place to sleep or eat or get warm or get help.

It can’t be a choice if there are no other options to choose from. It seems like a cruel way to avoid seeing human suffering or taking any responsibility for what our lifestyles and choices have done to the less fortunate – they’ve had a bad situation to get out of to be out on the streets. Our community is falling short and we turn a blind eye.

Did you ever stop to wonder why these people are out in the cold in increasing numbers or what can be done about them, and the fact that it can happen to you? ‘There but for the Grace of God go I.’

The ever growing population of homeless and food insecurity is due to the lack of affordable housing, healthcare and kindness, unemployment, divorce, disease, domestic and police violence, the effects of climate emergency, war PTSD, and the social unrest.

Millions of Americans are sleeping on winter streets tonight. We need to treat people better than dogs. I read of police arresting, imprisoning and fining these poor, even tearing down their tents, smashing and impounding their little possessions they need to stay alive. This is our solution – to harass and run the poor and sick out of town to be someone else’s problem?

There is no place for them. This is a life or death situation. You are kidding yourself if you think the United Way or someone like that will help. Everyone knows they aren’t doing anything. Homeless vets, many who have PTSD are not valued any more than other homeless. Our government, run by a wealthy elite is no longer working for the majority of us, not even for the middle class, and the many churches here don’t involve themselves. We want a country for all of us – not just a select few.

A new local group, Indivisible, out of St. Paul’s Episcopal heard about a number of Hot Spring’s High students became homeless or temporarily unsheltered – and the money raised by this group went for food and presents, but not for a roof over them. The new Mesilla Healing has only several rooms for travelers out of money. There’s no real shelter. We have to acknowledge that the problem exists, why they exist and that, in a democratic system we can’t expect to blame them and pass human rights abuses on to someone else to take care of.

If we want freedom, we have to participate in improving our system (not by killing people). Who will you call on when you are lost and they are controlling you? The money is there and can be found. Where is the love?

s/Linda Rakestraw

2028 Cottonwood Ln.

T-or-C, NM

(Over 350 words paid)

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