Dear Editor,

I was disheartened to learn of Ocean County Freeholder John C. Bartlett Jr.'s recent statement that the people living in Lakewood's homeless encampment known as, "Tent City" prefer to be homeless.

While I believe Freeholder Bartlett is a good man and admire many of his leadership accomplishments, I also understand it is difficult for him to be able to effectively approach such a complex issue that is unfamiliar to most of the middle class.

I challenge Freeholder Bartlett to do one thing before making any further statements regarding the issue of homelessness: Spend a week living with your constituents in Tent City.

If Freeholder Bartlett is apprehensive about undertaking such a groundbreaking constituent outreach program on his own, I would be glad to join him and share a tent. Maybe we could even talk Bon Jovi and Chris Christie into spending a night with us?

Eric Hafner

Toms River