As a business and property owner on Baltimore Street, I have seen firsthand the “Homeless Issue” as stated in the story in the Cumberland Times-News Region Section on Aug. 4 (“Homeless issue resurfaces in city,” Page 1B).

We all know what the problem is; the real dilemma is how to deal with it. As stated in the above-mentioned article, there are civil rights issues that have to be dealt with.

At the same time, as a responsible, law-abiding, taxpaying citizen, I have the same civil rights, such as being able to operate my business and offer our services to customers without them being harassed by these “homeless” people.

Having said that, are there laws against public intoxication or causing a public nuisance?

I agree with Debbie Passarell that if we had regular uniformed patrols on Baltimore Street and the surrounding area, this alone would be a deterrent for these people.

I understand that most of the homeless people are suffering from some kind of addiction or other problems, and I also understand that you cannot help someone until they want to help themselves.

The real thing these people need is help. Help to get their addiction under control, help to get their self confidence back, help to get their dignity back, and help to get a job to become a productive citizen.

Hopefully, out there somewhere is someone or some organization to help these people get their lives back.

Ron “Bill” Shaffer, Owner

City Lights


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