• Homeless Union of GSO

RE: Amy Murphy's Editorial in News and Record

More paternalistic (and defensive) editorializing from the chicken lady. Last council meeting, people experiencing homelessness asked for 2 things - the first of which Amy Murphy conveniently forgets to mention: 1. A Full repeal of the city's panhandling and loitering ordinances and 2. The establishment of a poverty commission with a functioning majority of low income people.

Amy at least mentions the later, and gives some support to it. Great. But why does she not mention panhandling and loitering? Is it because her stance has been, and continues to be, that she knows how to manage money and resources better than the people she serves? The last editorial (the one she got "strong" reactions to) was about how bad it is to give to panhandlers - a defense of the current law. It's too bad she is defending a law that is unconstitutional and based on bigotry. It's also too bad that the news and record chooses to print her opinion as somehow speaking for the homeless community. Last council meeting (and lots of other times), homeless people were very clear, "THE CHICKEN LADY DOESN'T SPEAK FOR ME" - although they usually have a little more fun with wordplay (let's say "The chicken lady knows chicken poop").

The City Attorney said, during the meeting, that his opinion is that the current panhandling ordinance is unconstitutional and the mayor and other city council members said they would vote at the next council meeting to repeal the current panhandling laws. The chicken lady fails to mention that as well.

This article may have been more polite than the last, but it still misrepresents the homeless community, reinforces bigoted views about poor people and only mentions housing once.

In our humble opinion, solutions to homelessness that are most helpful to poor and homeless people come from the community most directly impacted, foster self-determination for homeless people, stress the need for housing (not shelters), and don't involve criminalization or police officers (or chicken-s*** editorials) at any step.

Read her editorial here


-Homeless Union of Greensboro

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