ashland.news
February 21, 2024

Letter: Serving people or saving money? Which side?

February 7, 2024

Shocking as it was to find the Ashland City Council risking further lawsuits when it considered lowering the acceptable cold weather shelter temperature to 25 degrees, (when there are already so many elderly unhoused suffering hypothermia at temperatures in the 40s), it was startlingly obvious why these human beings are overlooked — to save money.

A more sustainable method of saving money would be to cut the wages of the City Council to a third of its bloated budget, for this obviously volunteer public service position. What I mean to say is, remove the funds of a biased and corrupt set of self-serving city officials, who already have multiple impending lawsuits forming, for grievous human rights violations.

There seems to be no consideration on the City Council for the spiritual and mental well-being of the homeless in the community of Ashland. They are not uniquely perceived as human, not allowed to integrate. Due to the lack of finances alone, they are seen as all but expendable. But they are still equal to you, be they the more traumatized and degraded population, they have every bit of the emotional capacity, pain and suffering as the City Council.

Somewhere in the Bible, Jesus Christ spoke, “Do unto the least of these as you would do unto me.” Would it be too much to perceive each free-thinking houseless person be seen as an individual and a divine child of God? If not mandated by our creator, then to be seen as valued equally for his own intrinsic being, regardless of holdings or productivity?

The age-old adage “Everyone does better when everyone does better” exists with great merit for a reason. People’s lives, their dignity and their comfort matter. This includes not being resigned to bargain-basement cots, stacked two feet apart, or sleeping on cement slabs in a warming shelter on a half inch mat, crammed into rows on the floor, on the far side of the city with minimal assistance for others’ needs, so they are not stumbled over.

One would expect better in this “organized and evolved society” selling its out-of-country imports near closed community centers, within this society of minimal integrity with only an illusion of humanity and sustainability.

As Pete Seeger asked, “Which side are you on boys, which side are you on?”

Heron Boyce

Ashland

Related story: Temperature threshold for severe weather shelter to stay the same, councilors decide

Jim

Jim

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