Letter to the editor: Commissioner’s comments on homeless were out of line


In an Aug. 16 interview regarding homeless Lewis County families, Lewis County Commissioner Sean Swope is reported as saying, “I think, maybe, it is time for some of these folks to have to go to jail.”

No charges.

No indictment.

No trial.

Out of compliance with the law.

Anybody can read the article. In or out of context, it’s the same.

We all have the right to life, and no one may be imprisoned just because another person thinks they should be.

We need to be able to trust our public servants and know that they will support us, especially when the world is watching, but also when it isn’t.

Poverty has declined over the last three years. Still, about 20% of children and 13% of adults in Lewis County live below the poverty line, maybe one step away from homelessness. No one should be threatened with imprisonment for becoming homeless.

Besides, providing shelter and services can cost about $10,000 less per year. Turns out, the right thing to do is also the best business decision.


Ray Chapman-Wilson