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'HARMON'S HOTELS' MEET THE NEED

I certainly empathize with the writers calling cardboard shelters a "disgrace." My sense is that it was more of a sincere attack on what has happened to the homeless in the land of plenty than on the Cardboard Hotels -- which were euphemistically named "Harmon's Hotels" by a homeless person.

I would like to make two points:

First, Harmon designed "Harmon's Hotels" as a Band-Aid against someone freezing to death. In the last cold snap in Chicago, 80 human beings died, many of whom were homeless.

Second, in Western New York we do not "see" the homeless sleeping on the cement. However, in nearby Philadelphia or New York City, men, women and children are "visible" sleeping on the ground in subfreezing weather.

Viewers will primarily see them sleeping during the day, for the homeless have learned that if they lie down in the middle of a subfreezing night, they may freeze to death. So they walk all night! During the day "they get their rest."

M. STEVEN PIVER, MD
Acting President
Friends of the Night People

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