Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"Residentially challenged"

When you have a home but refuse to live in it, can you really be called "homeless"?

William Royce had a home, and a loving family. But he died in the elements after mental illness robbed him of his ability to make informed choices. A local police department spokesperson called Royce "residentially challenged,' which many, including one letter-writer, called "a new low in political correctness."

But might that actually be the most accurate way to describe someone like William Royce?

In a response via a letter to the editor in the Tallahassee Democrat, William Royce’s father Charles makes this unique argument.

I thought "residentially challenged" was a very correct way to describe the situation, and our family appreciated its use in the newspaper.

This was a young man who wasn't homeless, but he was residentially challenged, and he chose to live where he was found. He was also mentally challenged. He had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and he periodically was affected by that. Whoever coined that phrase, or opted to use that phrase, was very kind in his choice of words and the family appreciated that.

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