In her May 5 reply to my letter of April 28 criticizing a column by Shannon Jones on homelessness (Sun Journal, April 25), Maureen Andrew accused me of coldness.

With the intention of consoling her, Andrew sent a copy of the column to a friend whose son died homeless, just as Jones’ son had.  But Andrew is personally involved with the woman.  Even if she had no direct involvement with her friend’s son, she’s still his mother’s friend, which makes her personally involved.

In my letter, however, I wasn’t talking about personal involvement; I made that clear. I was talking about a non-homeless person encountering a homeless stranger. Even so, I was wrong to say a kind word means nothing without a handout of cash.

Andrew wrote that when once approached by a panhandler on Lisbon Street requesting cash (Andrew was in her car), she said she was sorry, she didn’t have any. They later encountered each other on the street and the woman thanked her for her kindness.

I would’ve acted the same way had I none to give. But cash certainly cheers the heart of someone homeless and starving, doesn’t it?

I sometimes encounter a panhandler at the light on the corner of Lisbon and Main streets; when I do, I give them a couple of dollars I have on hand so as to give it quickly. When they thank me I reply cordially.

William LaRochelle, Lewiston

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