I was disappointed to learn of your recent portrayal of vendor Richard Kingsbury as having panhandled before he became a Real Change vendor (Vendor profile, Real Change, June 18); Correction issued Real Change, June 25.
Although there should be no shame in panhandling (It’s just asking for what you need, right?), the reality is that panhandling remains a stigmatized occupation. Due to the stigma currently attached to panhandling, to misidentify a vendor as having panhandled before finding employment through Real Change becomes a way to inflate Real Change’s image at the expense of the vendor. I sincerely hope you did not intentionally misrepresent Mr. Kingsbury’s past in the hopes of inflating the image of Real Change.
Michelle Atkinson | Seattle
Editor’s reply: The profile of Kingsbury contained a reporting error. It was not an effort to inflate Real Change’s image at Kingsbury’s expense. We regret the error and appreciate those who speak out in support of Real Change vendors.