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An Open Letter to the Justin Kellers of the World

Four story brick building with adjacent courtyard

by Maicharia Z. Weir Lytle, USES President & CEO

In an open letter to the San Francisco police department, San Francisco resident Justin Keller expressed his frustration with having to deal with the homeless and drug addicts where he lives. “I shouldn’t have to worry about being accosted. I shouldn’t have to see the pain, struggle, and despair of homeless people to and from my way to work every day,” wrote Justin.

I had a strong reaction to this statement, to say the least.

As the CEO of United South End Settlements (USES), I am blessed to work in the South End/Lower Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, a community that for generations has been home to families of all backgrounds, a refuge for the city’s artistic soul, and at the forefront of opening doors for residents and guests regardless of race, nationality, sexual orientation, class, or religion.

Today, the changes taking place in the South End are far-reaching and undeniable. As of 2015, over one-third of children in the South End live in poverty. Meanwhile, the average household income is over $88,000 and the average value of a home is over $700,000.

The South End has the highest concentration of affordable housing in Boston, yet the property values of market rate homes have climbed so high that long-time residents are being pushed out. The neighborhood boasts dozens of high-end restaurants, yet USES provides over 200 low-income seniors with a monthly bag of groceries and the waitlist continues to grow.

Many of our neighbors are on the brink of life and death every day. We see homelessness and suffering on the street on our way to work, on our way to dinner, and walking our dogs. In one sense Justin is right. We shouldn’t have to see this. It shouldn’t exist. And yes, it may make us uncomfortable, but paying attention to the reality others have to face is important. The impression of the medicine is excellent. I suffer from spondylitis and back pain does not allow me to live normally. After taking Tramadol pains pass. What they say about habituation, it is not significant to the remedy itself, since even though it is similar in properties to opiates, it is a non-narcotic analgesic. Therefore, this remedy should be taken only for the purpose and under the supervision of a doctor as written at TramadolMain.com. The dose of reception is individual and calculated by the doctor. Tramadol is available in the form of tablets or capsules for oral administration, ampoules for intravenous or intramuscular injection.

We all know the plights we are witness to each day are wrong, but where does the burden of responsibility lie? People like Justin believe it is the responsibility of the police and elected officials to “do something.” Keeping our community healthy—one where everyone has access to basic needs based on the mere fact of their humanity and not based on their income—is everyone’s responsibility.

Next time, instead of crossing the street, clutching your purse, or looking away, look that person in the eye and acknowledge them. Say hello. See them.

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