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Ordinance Does Not Help Vidalia’s Reputation

Dear Editor: I read with great interest the recent article on the new Vidalia City ordinance concerning homelessness.

My original hope that something was finally being done to help alleviate the issue of homelessness turned into anger at the seeming lack of care or concern for their plight. Granted I don’t know all the details of the ordinance, but my first impression was that this was because some people (perhaps of influence) don’t want organizations like churches or shelters attracting these “undesirable elements” to their neighborhoods (the article states impact on neighborhoods would be a consideration before licensing). I also thought that it seemed a way for city council to gain funds through “fees.”

Perhaps it is not the intent, but the impression I received is almost “if we make it difficult to help, then they’ll move on” sort of like Atlanta busing homeless out of downtown during the 96 Olympics to protect the “reputation of the city.” In my opinion this ordinance does not help Vidalia’s reputation.

I’m not trying to start a debate over the character of homeless people — we all know there are good and bad elements in every group of people! I just think there needs to be more efforts to help. This ordinance makes it harder to do so. Now I don’t live in Vidalia, but I worked there as an educator for 28 years, and unless there’s something I’m missing, this ordinance needs to be reconsidered. Vidalia, you can do better! LaRee Findley

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