Letter: Ask out-of-towners to support the homeless

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I moved here from Philadelphia 18 months ago. I fell in love with the mountains and the surrounding communities. I’m a 55-year-old white guy who is “semiretired.” I made a lot of money up North. Due to some unfortunate circumstances, I now find myself living among the general population in a hotel room for a short period of time. What a rude awakening. Good people working hard every day unable to enjoy their lives. I can’t even tell you how many $50 and $20 bills I have handed out in the last month to some real deserving folks. And how much they appreciated it and how it changed their lives. For a day.

The crisis here is deeper than anybody knows. This is ridiculous and borders on criminal. Housing, wages, you guys tax food and clothing. Absolutely absurd. Something down here has to change.

The situation here is ridiculous. If your government can’t solve the problem, and they probably never will, it’s time you take matters into your own hands. I go to the Goodwill here, and they always ask me if I want to round my purchase up. It’s only a few cents, and I always do. I’m an out-of-towner, and I have the money. So sure. Why not? America is the most giving and affluent country in the world. And I’m proud of that. All you have to do — is ask.

Start a campaign in all these restaurants and hotels that all these “out-of-towners” come to and ask them to do the same thing that the Goodwill does — to support the homeless and provide some rental assistance to folks in need.

I think you will find more money than you know what to do with. I have faith. We are good people and a great country. It all starts with the individual doing his share to help those less fortunate, and we as Americans have a proud history of doing so. This ain’t rocket science, folks. It’s as plain as the nose on your face. Ask and you shall receive. God bless,

— Glen Firn


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7 thoughts on “Letter: Ask out-of-towners to support the homeless

  1. Beverly Wright

    Before the critics come onboard, I’d like to thank you for your accurate observations. Putting a letter like yours in the paper is important to me because it’s an outside observation. Asheville doesn’t have much to boast of, and your observations help to confirm it. The city needs the development of a heart and soul, instead of buildings. Thanks!

  2. james

    “America is the most giving and affluent country in the world. And I’m proud of that.”
    Your pride is evident Glen, but I’m afraid it is just wishful thinking. Your statement is not supported by facts.
    According to Forbes’ annual list of most affluent countries per capita, the US comes in at 12th just ahead of Iceland and far, far behind countries such as Luxembourg, Qatar, and even Ireland.
    As for philanthropy, globalcitizen.org puts the US in the top 5 (but just barely), and worldatlas.com doesn’t even place them in the top 10 for generosity. The ‘most giving’ countries are ones that we don’t even consider to be First World–Myanmar, Indonesia, Malta, Kenya…

    • dyfed

      Has anyone ever thanked a pedant, or do they just do it for the dubious joy of being technically correct while missing the point completely?

  3. Enlightened Enigma

    Goodwill is a major profit making ‘non profit’ … MILLION$$$ for the operators yearly !

    • Beverly Wright

      That’s the truth! Their corporate people make millions and Goodwill pays employees sorrowfully low wages. I’ve known 5 people who broke their chains to the place and told me some horror stories. Goodwill IS for profit! They make 100%+ profit on everything because of suckers who donate. Salvation Army is a better choice, imo.

  4. jason

    What if I don’t want to help the homeless. I really would prefer they leave and go to Charlotte, Raleigh or Atlanta.

  5. Snookie

    Glen Firn….you have no facts. Sounds more like you are bloating yourself for handing out $20.s and $50.s if you can do it great!!! But don’t come on here to announce it. Like you said the Good Wills everywhere do that, and you say yes!? But is it really going to the people in need???? I think you need to research what and where is the best place to donate. The places where the donations are really going to the people in need. There’s some homework Glen Firn!! Don’t just yes people. Go get those people jobs you wanna be a big helpful guy!!

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