Jerry Sakai: World War II internment camps no example for homeless solution | TheUnion.com

Jerry Sakai: World War II internment camps no example for homeless solution

On Feb. 22 an "Other Voices" opinion piece entitled, "Are we weary of the homeless?" was submitted by Malen "Jim" Jacobs.

He displays his ignorance and a bit of arrogance by proposing to house the homeless by providing barracks "like we gave to our American citizens of Japanese ancestry" (during World War II). Those people were forced into the camps with less than four weeks' notice with only what they were able to carry. They had to abandon their farms, businesses, and homes.

My grandfather had to sell the inventory of his general store for pennies on the dollar.

Others also took huge financial losses, and all suffered emotional distress. And it wasn't a cushy existence. The walls of the barracks were covered by heavy tar paper with no insulation. Toilets and wash facilities were in outbuildings shared by over 20 families. Meals were served in large mess halls. The camps were located in isolated parts of seven states. My family was incarcerated in the Arizona desert.

Lastly, Mr. Jacobs implies most of the homeless are malingering veterans, which isn't the case. He would do well to volunteer at the Hospitality House in Grass Valley and meet some of the homeless.

Jerry Sakai

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