BRATTLEBORO — When I saw this piece written about Peter Case, I was appalled.
Could GennaRose Nethercott be referring to the same Peter Case who has volunteered robust amounts of time and energy for Groundworks?
Or perhaps she's addressing the fact that he spearheaded “Load the Latchis” for so many years?
Is she really talking about the same guy, who serves as president of Black Mountain Assisted Family Living, once again dedicating his time and energy in service to our most vulnerable citizens?
This feels like an alternate universe, but here I am, reading wild and inaccurate accusations.
Ma'am, you are quite mistaken. At no time did Peter speak against panhandling. Loitering is not the same, no matter how much one wants to conflate the two. At no time did Peter say he wanted to banish homeless folks from downtown.
Have you met him? I would have to imagine the answer is no, because Peter is so very human-focused and kind. You may find him having conversations with panhandlers to try to suss out what community supports could be helpful to them.
There is no crime in stating the fact that business owners are suffering and that we should care about that. No person, housed or unhoused, should be sitting on a stoop downtown aggressing anyone.
I would personally also say that they should not be doing drugs in public, or urinating and defecating in public, either. Of course they are doing these things because their personal situation must be awful. I just don't think that discouraging folks from trying to help stop this is the answer. We do need a plan to address this.
“God forbid we, a supposedly progressive community, be forced to witness poverty.”
Again, you seem to be deliberately conflating these issues to fit your agenda. But you are making false accusations here, and you should give this one a little more thought.
I am absolutely thrilled that you have never been aggressed downtown. I sure have. My children have. Never by a panhandler. Always by someone in a dark doorstep yelling profanities and sometimes by someone following me to the parking garage because they have watched me vend at an event and they assume I am carrying cash. I have a right to expect this to stop happening because it does feel unsafe.
“Fish, why do I get the feeling that your definition of 'all' excludes the most vulnerable members of our community?”
I would highly recommend that you have an actual conversation with Peter so you can quickly realize how wrong your “feeling” is.