Is Corvallis So Elitist it Needs to Hide its Homeless People?

Published at on May 4, 2015

I was saddened to read the paper Wednesday, April 29. There were front- page headlines on how the homeless need to be evicted from downtown Corvallis.

Catherine Mater and Peter Ball have definitely set the bar high. Apparently their Corvallis is an elitist community needing protection from the unsightly homeless. How sad and unrealistic.

In an April 11 letter it was noted Mr. Ball is on the board of Cornerstone supporting people with disabilities. There is a huge difference between developmentally disabled people who work at sheltered workshops and live in group homes and people who are homeless, live on the streets and depend on soup kitchens to get one meal a day.

People with disabilities are protected by law and are cared for in a loving way. Many have families in Corvallis and visit home often. Homeless folks, many of whom are mentally disabled, are left to care for themselves without access to the same level of care.

I have a mentally disabled daughter who lives in a group home and works at a Cornerstone sheltered workshop. I volunteer at the Corvallis Daytime Drop In Center so I personally know the difference between the two populations. They cannot and should not be compared.

I would hope that Corvallis and all of it’s “brilliant people” could come down off their high horses and show some compassion and understanding for the homeless. They are us. They are not going away. This is about human beings caring for each other.

Annie Bowen