Appropriate and humane housing for people is one of the issues I am personally concerned about. In yesterday's article about a downtown homeless housing project, I was taken back by what I believe to be the narrow-mindedness of business owners and lack of vision. Of all the groups needing affordable and/or subsidized housing, it is those hovering on or below the poverty level, families and individuals with low incomes, the homeless, the mentally ill, and, affirmatively, those with addictions. Instead of ostracizing these people and pushing them away from the very resources they need (food, shelter, public transportation, social services), the community, in my opinion, should stay connected with them and rule with compassion. By branding these people as potential thieves, criminals, pan-handlers, and trouble-makers, who adversely affect downtown commerce, more problems are created. It's similar to "ignoring the elephant in the room"-syndrome. Trying to push the "problem" to the outskirts of town or beyond so that it's not "visible" anymore does not prevent an increase in crime, violence and addiction. Without being an expert in the field, I venture to suggest that more and not less communication among all affected groups - whether downtown business owners, apartment dwellers, transients, or visitors - creates the possibility of change for the better. Exclusion, stigmatization, and profiling create an atmosphere of mistrust and dehumanization. I unconditionally support the efforts to create affordable housing in the downtown area.