Reader: Can't we do better in 21st-century America?

"Bed Check," Sam Levin, December 6

Home, Sweet Homeless

Excellent work on Sam Levin's piece regarding lack of services for women experiencing homelessness in Denver. Thank you for your expert storytelling and your service to the community.

Dennis Kennedy


homeless in Denver

I really appreciated the recent article by Sam Levin. It's a shame people have to rely on a very patchwork safety-net system just to find shelter for the night. Can't we do better than this in 21st century America? We live in a country where no Wall Street scoundrels ever get charged, let alone convicted, while folks who fall on hard times are sentenced to a daily hell and are harassed by police who should be going after (real) corporate criminals. Unfortunately, most people don't give a damn or know what to do to help remedy this situation. It would be interesting to know the statistical root causes of homelessness (unemployment, addiction, mental illness, family/home life issues, etc.) in and around Denver and see some longevity followups on some of the women in the article.

Alex Clayton

So "homeless women say" the odds are stacked against them, huh? Guess that's enough evidence to write a huge, multi-page cover story, 'cause some unidentified homeless women said so.

Posted at

Show and Tell, Jef Otte, December 20

Rest in Poetry

Thank you so much for the wonderful obit for Jake Adam York. As a former student of his, I felt it captured his energy and spirit.

Sarah York
New York City

I just posted this in response to a comment on the article on Jake Adam York:

"I can't even begin to explain how offensive this is. Thousands of people are mourning. Hundreds in Colorado are in unbearable amounts of pain. Who wouldn't want to be remembered as kind and compassionate? Jake fought his whole life against people who felt he was anything more than a gentle human being. If this person knew anything about Jake, about his work, his fight to reconcile the lack of compassion in the rest of the world, they would never post this. This comment hurt a lot of people close to Jake. This entire article hurt a lot of people close to Jake. It hurt me. It hurt the people I love. Please, please remove it. I don't have much strength right now to fight, but I feel I need to fight this. Please."

Jake was the most important person in my life, and so I am reiterating the comment in hopes that you will remove the entire piece out of respect for Jake's family, his friends and everyone who truly loved and truly knew him.

Ali Rachel Pearl

Editor's note: Jef Otte was a student of Jake Adam York's, and his obit for the poet included personal experience as well as Facebook quotes from friends and fans of the remarkable man. It remains up at


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