I was reading an article in the News & Record this morning about the arrests that have come since the debut of the paper’s recent “Guilford County’s Most Wanted” feature. And something caught my eye: “Farmer of 305 W. Lee St. was arrested…”
Whoa. Nobody is “of 305 W. Lee St,” because 305 W. Lee is a homeless shelter — the Greensboro Urban Ministry’s Weaver House. It’s a temporary (usually 67 days or less) shelter, not permanent housing. People sleep there at night and leave during the day. (You can see some of them standing out on the corner of Lee and Eugene.) So it’s not a permanent address. If someone has 305 W. Lee St. on their ID, then it means that they’re homeless. The newspaper should have said, “Farmer, homeless, was arrested…”
Why is that important to me? I don’t know. It just is. It’s not that I want to draw attention to the fact that a homeless guy is among Guilford County’s most wanted, although I know that homeless people commit crimes. And it’s no offense to Greensboro Urban Ministry, whose staff apparently helped Farmer get an ID while he stayed there. (Kudos to them. Some of my favorite people work at GUM.) I think it’s just that I want us to acknowledge that homelessness exists, for as long as it does, and hopefully that ends someday. Soon. Nobody is “of 305 W. Lee St.” Farmer was homeless. (And may still be.) A lot of other people are, too.
End of rant. Thanks for listening.
P.S. I could do a similar post/rant about other shelter addresses or even my church address, because we’ve helped do IDs at times, too, and I think they have the church address (643 W. Lee) on them. It’s not about GUM, it’s about being real about people being homeless.