Open Letter to Erin Mendenhall

Tracey Bushman
Cover Image for Open Letter to Erin Mendenhall
Housing Crisis

I am hoping to shock you into the recognition of homelessness as Emergency. You’ve said before that you did an informal poll of a few unsheltered people near your office, and you remarked how many people go without formal shelter by choice. I doubt the man who detailed how he informally chips frostbite from his skin made it into your focus group. He may have misplaced his ID when your police minions raided his camp, complicating his access to bus tokens. He may have run out of his allotted bus tokens, travelling across town to find no vacancy at the relocated shelter, where his self-medication might disqualify him from said shelter. But he's optimistic about how quickly his skin recovers after each incision.

It's clear there aren't enough beds in the correct locations — near other services. We the People will procure and disseminate up-to-date shelter bed data one way or the other. I suggest you publish the data you have.