DAILYTRIBUNE - LETTER - HOMELESS SHOULD NOT BE PLACED ON DISPLAY Donna Edwards full letter
..." I found it very disturbing to read in Ms. Kapen’s article, “The needy still have pride, dignity”, that a news station had been invited by a local synagogue to film homeless people to whom they had given shelter. The result of this was the homeless being subjected to that which had brought anxiety and humiliation upon them. I view the synagogue’s attempt to put their homeless guests on display before the media as an affront to their dignity, as well as a betrayal of the trust these people had placed in them.
Due to recent frigid temps, the media has turned its attention to homeless people trying to survive on the streets. In one such story, a homeless man was filmed sharing his story while at a local shelter. However, no measures were taken to protect the identities of other homeless clients, who were shown milling about in the background, most likely unaware that they too were being filmed. In any given group of homeless individuals, there are some who actually have jobs and, thus, might not want their employers or workmates to know of their homeless status. Little children, in their blessed innocence concerning their circumstances, most likely would have no qualms about being part of all this media attention. However, older children, teenagers, are very self-conscious; these would be mortified should they become part of a homeless story and seen by their friends and peers. Extreme care must, therefore, be taken to preserve the dignity of all homeless persons — adults and minors.
My question is, why should the homeless have been expected to participate in a “dog and pony show” to “earn their keep”, as in Ms. Kapen’s story, at a hosting synagogue?..."
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