(Submitted to the San Francisco Chronicle, 1 October 2002; unpublished.)
I was thrilled to read about John Milar's reunion with his family and Maurice Kari's generosity. As a former Cole Valley resident and a frequent late-night shopper at Sunny Country Foods, I am familiar with Kari's friendliness, and it is through efforts like his that we will solve the problem of homelessness in San Francisco.
Here's a constructive thought, instead of the usual libertarian negativity: why can't we give dollar-for-dollar tax credit to people like Kari for the work they do? For every dollar spent on soup given directly to someone in need, take one dollar less from his wallet in taxes. The tax dollar will percolate through a vast bureaucracy, perhaps to drip a few cents back into the community, while the dollar of soup went wholly into a human being's welfare.
We will save our community - not the government.Chris Maden