I was appalled by a recent letter to the editor written by Nick Bermudez and another by Sharon Rovensek. These letters chastised a property owner for the erection of a bench on their property that was built in such a way as to deter people from lying or sleeping on it. They view this as showing a lack of empathy for the homeless population. Such views show the inability of some people to balance the welfare of various interests.
It must be emphasized that this is a private bench installed on private property. The bench is situated adjacent to a business that would like to have a bench for the quiet enjoyment of their customers who would like to sit down. Does this discriminate against the homeless? Hardly! Within close proximity to the offending bench there are literally hundreds of benches and places to sit or rest.
I have worked with the homeless and have tremendous empathy for those in need. I also know that much of the funding to help those in need comes from our local businesses. I doubt that those who are so upset about this bench have encouraged a homeless person to sleep on their porch or come into their home. I also doubt they have spent much effort writing about the large chain retailers and shopping centers that are far less hospitable to the homeless and far less charitable than our local businesses.