Recently, the city of Portland carried out a number of sweeps of encampments throughout the city. I would have expected more coverage of this in the local press, including the Press Herald, and I’m incredibly disappointed that more attention isn’t being paid to these disturbing events.

I understand that encampments can be unsightly to neighbors and tourists, and yes, they can be unsafe and unsanitary. But removing all of the warm, safe and comfortable belongings a person has to make it through the winter also removes their dignity and destroys resources that have been provided by the community and by hard-working outreach workers.

Let’s not ignore the people or the problem, or what the city (and probably countless other Maine communities) are doing to our unhoused and unsheltered people. This needs to be kept in the public eye.

Rebecca Kennedy

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