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I have just read that the NYPD is cracking down on subway panhandlers and peddlers. I find this most disturbing because these people don’t need tickets or jail, but help. This could mean affordable housing, mental health assistance and financial help.

I know this only too well, for after the Vietnam War and my release from the Navy I found myself in terrible shape both mentally and physically, living on the street for awhile. I found myself asking strangers for spare change and that was just to get something to eat.

It was a sad time. If not for the kindness of a stranger, I don’t know if I would have survived. The city needs to take pity on people like these.

 

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.

Glen Oaks Village

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