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Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz’s plan to buy buildings to house and treat the homeless has many of the neighbors up in arms.
The neighbors say they worry about those at the mostly empty commercial buildings bringing new crime problems to their areas. You can’t blame them for that. The so-called homeless have far more than lack of a roof going for them. They are people with mental health problems and addictions to drugs and alcohol, the folks most likely to pass out on lawns and sleep in public places.
The uncharitable among us used to call them “bums,” a most unfortunate and derogatory term that not all deserved. I say so-called homeless because having no place to live is not their most notable feature. It’s those mental and addiction difficulties that keep them either too broke or too problematic to handle a rental apartment.