Don’t judge others until you’ve walked in their shoes

To the editor:

I am beyond sick of judgmental people. Not all people are homeless because they are addicts. But since y’all wanna speak out on this topic, let’s chat.

Ever been to the trap houses? Ever sat down with the “dirty trashy addicts” and tried to figure out how they got there? I have.

How many addicts have had all their belongings stolen? If you have no ID, you can’t get an ID. If you have no shower or clean clothes, then how do you get a job?

If you haven’t eaten in a week or two and you have no job and no ID, then how do you buy food? Do you know that a bag of meth costs just as much as a meal at McDonald’s? And that McDonald’s is gonna go through your system and you’re gonna be hungry again in a few hours.

That bag of meth is gonna block the hunger pangs for at least a day. Do you know that to enter a rehab, you can’t talk to your family for at least a week, you can’t smoke and you can have no caffeine? So basically your withdrawing from everything your system knows, all while being completely isolated and probably locked up with people that you don’t like or that make you uncomfortable.

Now let’s talk about what can be done. Let’s create some sort of liaison with Social Security and vital statistics so these people can get some ID. They can’t get a job or a room or visit the food pantries without it.

Y’all mock the crazy lady with the shovel walking around in her underwear. She was trying to make money while everyone mocked her.

Ever been exposed to the elements 24 hours a day? Ever been hungry, cold, or roasting hot for more than a few hours. These people are stronger than you think. I’ve sat in trap houses and watched meth heads paint pictures Picasso would envy. I’ve watched a young man blow the most beautiful glass bobbles with nothing but a blow torch and his lips.

Barbara Sorrells

Waynesville

With corona virus looming, it’s time to demand Medicaid expansion

To the editor:

In our states effort to “cut taxes,” our North Carolina Legislature had consistently refused to accept the Medicaid expansion money from the federal government, which would amount to about $8.3 billion dollars.

This has not cut our taxes as North Carolinians are paying this $8.3 billion to the federal government and then letting them give it to 32 other states. If you pay taxes, you are already paying for Medicaid expansion, but we are not getting this money back into the state.

Hospitals are closing and severely distressed at taking care of people who do not have coverage that otherwise would be available if our legislature would simply accept the money.

I have no idea how many jobs and how much health care can be delivered to us in our great state, but $8.3 billion would pay for a lot. Much of this would be for primary care to help prevent expensive ER visits after chronic conditions get out of control and are much more expensive to treat. Hospitals are stuck with the bill and this is what’s stressing and closing hospitals.

Now on the verge of pandemic corona virus, North Carolina needs this money now to prepare hospitals for the influx of patients that is going to happen.

I suspect that realization will come to the community and the legislature after the wave of illness has hit and then the damage will be done. The circular finger-pointing will begin, especially as the election season heats up.

This is not a Republican vs. Democrat thing. This is quite serious and about to (probably) get very much worse. I don’t want to be alarmist and certainly don’t want to panic people, but isn’t it better to be prepared?

Shouldn’t we get our money back? Why won’t the legislature simply accept the expansion money? Oh, our state would have to fund a small percentage — darn, we would have to have a small bit of skin in the game, but compared to hospitals closing (fortunately, for now, our Haywood Hospital is in good shape, but others around the state are in trouble or closing), now is the time to ask for our money back.

We all feel like we can’t do anything, but in this case every single phone call will count.

So, what can you do? Find the phone number to call your representatives Michelle Presnelle 828-208-3874 Michele.Presnell@ncleg.net and Joe Sam Queen 828-452-1688 Joe.Queen@ncleg.net and your state senator: Jim Davis, 919-733-5874, Jim.Davis@ncleg.net and implore them to “Get our money back” by agreeing to accept the federal Medicaid expansion funds ASAP. Everyone will be better for this change.

Allan Zacher

Lake Junaluska

People should not be compared to dogs

To the editor:

I’m writing in response to Mr. Mark Pless remarks about the homeless of Haywood County, comparing them to dogs.

Mrs. Parris is right. They’re not dogs, and only people like you can make them out to be. The homeless are not homeless because they choose to be. I’m sure most never saw it coming.

Did you know that Jesus was homeless? Matthew 8:20 and Luke 9:59

Your remarks do offend me. I have a brother who was homeless on the streets of Waynesville for over 20 years. This was before the soup kitchen and Pathways, he lived a very hard life.

He ate out of dumpsters, and if it wasn’t for people trying to help him, he would still be out there.

The people who did help him were elected town officials, jailers, sheriffs and others. They didn’t have to. They had good jobs, nice homes and families. They had one thing you haven’t got and that’s compassion.

No matter what happens with the homeless in Haywood County, Mr. Pless, you don’t need to be any part of it with the vision you have about homeless people.

How can you serve the people of Haywood County fairly when you’re not trying to serve all the people?

I hope you have a change of heart about the way you see the homeless in Haywood County.

Oh by the way, my brother’s name is Glen Cagle. He just retired from the county with 29 years behind him. He was the jail cook and he was given an award for saving money at the jail. He wrote a cook book and gave the proceeds to charity.

Don’t ever call people, so called dogs, because one day that ‘dog’ could be your brother.

Macky Cagle

Haywood County

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