As a resident of Mount Pleasant, I was interested to read Marcia Slacum Greene's article {Metro, July 22} concerning the plight of the group of Salvadorans currently residing in my neighborhood. I am truly sorry that the political strife and social upheaval in El Salvador has driven many Salvadorans to seek refuge in the United States, and separated many from families and friends. I am further concerned about the problems such people face in obtaining housing, jobs and social services.

However, my compassion for my Salvadoran neighbors is being severely tested, and my frustration with the deterioration that has taken place in the neighborhood over the past few years is growing.

I am tired of observing their public urination in front yards and on porches and sidewalks, not just in back alleys. I am tired of seeing them discard mountains of empty liquor bottles on Irving Street, Mt. Pleasant Street and other neighborhood streets -- no matter how much trash my neighbors and my family collect for proper disposal, new piles appear within hours. I am tired of returning home to find individuals passed out on my front steps or staggering into me and pushing me in the chest as they request money. Finally, I am tired of witnessing the abusive catcalls and the physical harassment of my sister and other women who dare to walk in the neighborhood.

The camp "boss" interviewed for Marcia Greene's article is quoted as saying that neighborhood residents discriminate against his homeless group by voicing complaints and refusing to provide them with water. Although I have provided water when asked to do so in the past, I will no longer. Nor do I consider such actions to be discriminatory. Discrimination describes actions based on unfounded bias or unfair preconceptions. Our complaints and actions are not groundless or unfounded; they are based on daily experience and justifiable concerns for the condition of the neighborhood.

My experience has taught me that the homeless people who live on my block have little respect for their neighbors. No matter how much sympathy I may have for their and other Salvadorans' situation, I am not going to acquiesce to the trashing of our neighborhood. I will respect and work for the right of such displaced people to a decent place to live, but I expect them to respect my right to a decent, clean place to live as well.

MATTHEW D. SHANNON

Washington