The death of Mitch Snyder is shocking, because it reminds us that here among us was a man doing great public works for no monetary reward and that we took his commitment for granted.

Although we constantly read of betrayal and graft, sellouts and racial manipulation, we can now remember that our city has a good side, that there are people accepting of all, who administer medicine, food and shelter to those whom society has discarded.

Mr. Snyder's life was, from the start, hard, and its emotional costs too high, yet his accomplishments for the homeless were profound. In an era in which money and what it can buy are seen as proof of a citizen's worth, Mr. Snyder risked his life through fasting to shame us and a president into realizing our minimal responsibilities to those who are helpless.

So that we might discard our growing bitterness and pessimism, we need to help his Community of Creative Non-Violence in whatever way we as individuals can. We need to hold onto the memory of Mitch Snyder, a person who brought great moral good to Washington. His life stands as an antithesis to the greed and political decay that upset us all.