I read Tim Burgess’ Op-Ed with the hope that it would not omit a critical component to solving homelessness — personal responsibility. I believe the majority agree homeless individuals deserve a roof over their heads, a warm bed, a healthy diet and adequate health care. Most agree that solving homelessness will come with huge cost. But the solution must include recipient accountability.

Burgess speaks to “the criminalization of homelessness,” but is trespassing not a crime? Conservative commentary is labeled uncaring and insensitive, and yet I think many see vast sums of money being spent without much to show for it.

To end homelessness, all parties must come together to craft a plan that addresses needs and requires recipients to earn their way out of homelessness. Besides addressing addiction and mental health, the plan must include education and job training components, with the support of local employers, that enable recipients to become personally responsible.

In the words of some very wise person, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Robert Gunther, Sammamish