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Is Segregation the Answer to Homelessness?

The following article recently appeared in Metro News Canada and speaks to one of the many challenges faced by those impacted by poverty, homelessness and social isolation.

Dear Ellen,

I spend a lot of time in public libraries, which are amazing except for one issue: homeless people. I understand they need shelter from our harsh climate. But each one sits at a different communal table, which forbids the rest of us sitting there due to the very strong smell. Secondly, they occupy the computers constantly. Even though a sign says, “Priority will be given to those who use scanner and printer.” I have to wait a long time for these guys to finish their games. I want to suggest designating an area for homeless people and limiting their computer time. But I’m worried my complaint will be ignored or, worse, I may be judged as heartless. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.


The response from Metro News Canada ...

"Dear Dylan,

I understand your frustration and I don’t think you are heartless, but your muddy thinking is a serious threat to our democracy.

I, myself, would like to designate a special area for rich people who drive giant SUVs in the city, and an educational area for privileged white women who mindlessly vote for privileged white racist misogynist men, and a dungeon area for people who say “between you and I" instead of “between you and me.”

But even though all those groups are just as offensive and inconveniencing to me as less privileged, library-dwelling people are to you, they all have rights as citizens that we must recognize and respect if we want Canada to fu