I looked out my window at River Vue Apartments Saturday evening and saw a caring group providing food to homeless people on the Boulevard of the Allies, as they have so many times before. After reading about the police asking everyone to leave last Thursday evening from their spot under the overpass, I thought I might not witness this act of humanity again. The comments by police in the Post-Gazette's article were encouraging, saying they just wanted to work out some issues such as traffic safety ("City Rethinks Food Line for Homeless," Sept. 29). That is quite understandable and they must have worked it out if Saturday was an indicator.
I was sorry to read of petitions supposedly being circulated by surrounding residents to have "them" go someplace else. I have rarely seen or heard negative noise or commotion during those evening meals in the several months since I moved nearby. Often walking home from work at that time, I've never had to "walk around them" into the street. I always walk through and hear the normal types of conversation we might hear among any group of neighbors. Though I have sometimes stopped to donate to the group providing food that night, I've never been approached by anyone, except occasionally to say a pleasant "Good evening."
But for the economic crisis, a few years ago some of these people were probably grocery shopping at the same places we were shopping and maybe even let us in line in front of them. Before an unexpected debilitating illness and with no family to care for them, they may have shared pews in the same church with us. In the church I attended, I learned "Love thy neighbor as thyself."