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Have a raspos to an artícle we pubHshed? AGENDA wants to know whatyou thlnkl Send letters by the 2Oth day of the month preceding publication of our next issue to: Editor, AGENDA, 220 S. Main St. Ann Arbor, Ml 481O4.Pleaseincludeyouraddressandphone number (not tor publication). AGENDA rasen- the right to adlt or reject any letter. We give preference to letters under 4OO words. "Gimme Shelter!" Irresponsible Article I would like to express my frustration and anger over your article in this month' s issue [May 1996] entitled, "Gimme Shelter!" written by Ted Sylvester and Jeff Gearhart. I am extremely disappointed that your "reporters" followed the unfortunate lead of Tlie Ann Arbor News in giving an extremely biased and uneducated view of the homelessness problem in Washtenaw County. Although I am not an employee of the shelter, I have friends who are, and they have made it clear to me that no one from any newspaper has ever approached any of them for their views on the issue. The AGENDA was no different. Three short quotes from the shelter's Executive Director does not qualify as research, and it is not the same as talking to the shelter staff, who work for dirt wages, and who know what the problems really are. You, just like every other newspaper in town, feil into the trap of quoting a woman who has made it her personal mission to smear the shelter's name publicly, and to place blame for the problem on one agency. I would like you to answer one question for me: If everyone in Ann Arbor is so concerned about the homeless population and the functioning of the shelter, why don't they have more volunteers? Most of the year, they have none. Ann Arborites seem to be very good at whining, but not so good at taking action. Did you think to ask Ms. Plews what her agency is doing to help the homeless population? She shares in the responsibility, but that is a point conveniently left out of your article. In regard to the 60-day policy that every one is screaming about, why don't you try contacting some shelters in Detroit, or Jackson, or Grand Rapids, or Hint? My guess is that not only will you not ñnd a shelter that does not put a time limit on its residents, but you will also find that Washtenaw County's shelter has the most generous policy. Did it ever occur to anyone that there was a reason for this? Previously, I have looked at the AGENDA as a welcome change from the daily newspaper, because it covered issues I feit were important. I now question the need for your publication, as you are apparently only doing what everyone else is doing - no real research into your anieles and biased reporting that, to me, constitutes irresponsible joumalism.


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