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A Letter About Jusst Sooup Ministry Near Lewes, Delaware

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No Soup for You?

I normally don’t write in about articles but this time I felt compelled to comment on the situation about the Jusst Sooup Ministry (“From Soup to Nuts,” March 2012 issue).

First, let me start by saying I can empathize with the fears of the residents nearby, but I feel they are unfounded. I have worked with the homeless all over the country and there are a lot of misconceptions.

I’ll start with the statistics cited in some study. It reads 34 percent of homeless had no income (probably why they are homeless), 31 percent abused substances and 38 percent had been jailed. Some of this may be true within the parameters of this particular study, however, it is misleading. It is very difficult to study the homeless population for many reasons. Some are off the grid entirely, many are transient and move around, some are in shelters and go shelter to shelter, and the list goes on. People who are homeless are hard to document—let alone study.

From my experience this is what I can tell you. I have yet to meet a homeless person who wants to be homeless. Many of the homeless in this country are single mothers and children and those faces are the ones we don’t see very often and don’t want to see. Many are young adults who aged out of a system without a support network and it resulted in homelessness. Some are just down on their luck. It’s true some are mentally ill and have been jailed, but I also offer the fact that there are plenty of citizens in this country with housing who are mentally ill and have served time. In my opinion, who are we to judge why someone is homeless?

It is my belief that we are judged by the way we treat those less fortunate. Homelessness and hunger in this country is something that is fixable if we want to fix it. I read that someone expressed a fear that the homeless would be sleeping in the woods nearby and I ask what in the world for? Again, in my experience people who are homeless do not want to sleep out in the elements. They prefer a nice warm, comfortable and safe place to sleep—just like you and me.

What the Rev. Dale Dunning is doing is God’s work and should be commended and supported. She is providing for the most basic of needs. It’s simple, really. If someone is hungry, you feed them. If they need clothes, you clothe them. If they need support, you can choose to help them. It’s about human dignity. Shame on any of us who embrace our fear of that and turn a blind eye. I understand that some choose to buy into the fears and myths about the homeless because it can be scary. Yes, there are people who make bad choices everywhere. That should not deter us and certainly not get in the way of someone doing something so pure, so basic and so right.

I would submit that we all ask ourselves what business is it of ours why someone is homeless. The truth is it could happen to anyone, especially in an economy such as ours. Look at that person. They are a human being with feelings, a life story and just happen to be homeless. Maybe, just maybe by helping someone you could see yourself in that person. Trust me, they don’t want to be homeless and I’m sure they don’t want to be hungry. I have been taught more from volunteering with others than I have ever been taught in a classroom.

In my eyes, the Rev. Dunning is a hero. Maybe we should work harder to change the laws to help her and the people she serves. Now that would be something we could all be proud of.

I grew up hearing a saying my Aunt Kate always told me, “There but by the grace of God go I.” For me it’s a God thing.  For others it may be the simple act of doing the right thing. It doesn’t matter why we help others but it does matter that we do.

Kathleen Murray-Lyons
Sussex County

 

Un-Real

Your real estate stats (March 2012 issue) for my community are way off.

I can proudly say that Independence is probably the most sought-after Active Adult community in lower Delaware, if not the entire state. We have amenities that are unrivaled by the competition, and with our easy access to the beach/resort attractions our sales prove we are the easy pick for discriminating buyers.

We actually had 30 non-contingent sales in 2010, and 28 non-contingent sales in 2011­—a far cry from the 0 and 7 as posted in the issue.

Having 58 homes sold over that two-year span, and in a higher-end price point, it is testament to how desirable our community is and how happy Schell Brothers makes our homeowners.

John D. Farro
Community Sales Manager at 
Independence, Millsboro

 

School’s Out?

There is much education I have followed in California and Arkansas over the past 40 years, but after reading “The Learning Curve” (April 2012), the education system in Delaware over the past 50 years shows Delawareans that the Race to the Top can be anyone’s guess as to who will end on top.

John Huerta
Warren, Ariz.