Vince Fumo in Inquirer: Don’t Give Money to the Homeless

A lawyer for the ex-pol and ex-con once said the Philadelphia Inquirer was trying to destroy Fumo's life. Now he's writing about Project H.O.M.E. for them.

Former State Senator Vince Fumo has resurfaced today with an opinion piece in (of all places!) The Philadelphia Inquirer. Yes, Fumo has published an op-ed in the newspaper his lawyer accused of trying to destroy Fumo’s life just last year. You guys, the paper and the convicted felon have made up!

In the op-ed, Fumo says he “used to not really see the homeless” until he spent the past year riding with Project H.O.M.E.’s Sister Mary Scullion. Fumo says he’s also been interviewing people who Project H.O.M.E. has helped. Hey, good for him!

Fumo was convicted on 137 counts of fraud, conspiracy, obstruction of justice and tax evasion in 2009. He was released from prison in August of 2013 and is now doing some consulting work.

The largest chunk of Fumo’s op-ed describes the four (4) types of “lost souls” he has seen in the last year. (Yes, the piece is kind of written like a school paper.) The four categories he describes are chronic alcoholics, heroin addicts, the “truly psychotic” and con artists, who he says “make a pretty good living.”

He then ends with an exhortation to not give beggars any money:

Please do not attempt assuage your guilt by giving them the money they beg for. That only makes the problem worse. Instead, tell them to “come in” from the cold to a shelter and back to life.

I think I’ll stick with mumbling an imperceptible “sorry, I don’t have any cash on me” instead of that “‘come in’ from the cold” line.