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Letter: Homeless people aren’t nuisance animals

Newsday readers respond to topics covered.

Platform of the recently upgraded LIRR station at

Platform of the recently upgraded LIRR station at Wantagh. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

A Nov. 27 letter under the headline “A ride on the LIRR dashed his hopes” spoke in an unfavorable tone about two apparently homeless men in the waiting room at Wantagh station, and noted that police had come to remove them.

It’s likely that I know both these men, as well as a handful of other transient people who have come through the area of the station. Anyone who’s a frequent commuter has seen them staying warm in the waiting room from time to time.

If you take time to speak to them, you’ll discover that they’re educated and friendly. They have names, they have stories, they have pasts, they have reasons why they spend cold nights and early mornings in the heated waiting room (mostly in the name of survival).

These are fellow humans, not nuisance animals. Please take a moment to remember that, and instead of speaking of them in ill tones or complaining about their “unkempt” presence ruining your experience, offer them the contact info for a local shelter, or even a ride there. Look up the phone number for a local food pantry or social services on your cellphone and write it down for them.

The plight of homeless people is too complicated to fit in a letter, but the last thing we should do is criticize their existence.

Shannon Burgess, Seaford

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