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By Dee Coleman

Dee Coleman

As I look back over the last three years, I see a much different San Clemente. Seems you can no longer get gas without being yelled at, walk downtown without being accosted for spare change or take a walk on the beach without looking for used needles. We now have areas of our beautiful community where it is common to see cars with expired tags full of bags, with the overflow spilling onto the streets. Our wonderful pier was not made to sleep on, either. I don’t know about you, but I want my city back!

How did this happen? I assure you it didn’t just happen overnight. We and all of South Orange County are struggling with this same issue of homelessness. Hundreds camped out in Anaheim by Angel Stadium last year. Why were they there? It was because they really did not have a place to go. For the vast majority, it was due to poor life choices. Statewide, about 70% of the homeless population is struggling with some kind of addiction; almost 30% have mental health issues. There’s a small number of truly homeless people not wanting to be there. They want a job, a house and a life just like you and I have. For these people, I have hope. If they want a job, usually they will be out looking for one, and we have a number of great businesses here in San Clemente who are willing to give them a chance. Nonprofits are assisting with food pantries providing much-needed food for those truly in need.

Even though we are not alone struggling with this issue of homelessness, it seems like we have been hung out to dry by our county and the state. Orange County receives hundreds of millions of dollars to address this population every year. Where is the south county effort? Where is the funding going? Where is the nearest South Orange County homeless shelter? We know the answer to that. Not here. The Service Planning Area should identify a location in its center. Not at the edge of the county. The county has identified our service area for funding. Why are we not seeing action?

Unless the cities of South Orange County combine their efforts and make a run on the Board of Supervisors, we are left to deal with their problem on our own. I am not a politician, but I can see politics at work. A favor here for a road there, a homeless shelter there for a mental health hospital here. When will this madness stop? Let’s work with our neighboring cities to put pressure on the Board of Supervisors to do their job. If 10 percent of the population of Orange County lives in South County, then let’s spend 10 percent of county funding here, where it is needed. Remember, this is a mail-in election. Ballots will be mailed to your home on approximately Oct. 12. Complete it and drop it at the post office promptly. A vote for me this election is a vote for someone who knows how to get the job done. Together, we can get our city back.

For more information on Dee Coleman, who is running for San Clemente City Council in the Nov. 5 Special Election, visit



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comments (2)

  • I myself 63yo notice on any& most comments made regarding homeless are
    negative -the only people who make these comments are the ones who
    have never experienced it for themselves, I myself have worked for
    more than 44yrs mostly in Orange County ,I do NOT do drugs/alcohol nor
    do I have any type of criminal record -BUT I find myself homeless due
    to Personal & Corporate Greed an selfishness brought on by High Rent
    Prices ,when people pay these exuberant rent prices they do Not
    realize that you are giving these property owners a Stamp seal of
    approval on Jacking-up as high as they can in order for them to make a
    so called Profit >ITS Called >GREED! I myself am Not Stupid to give
    inn to those {I wish more people had the Courage to do this}But -MOST
    PEOLPLE say >I HAVE TO HAVE A PLACE TO LIVE I have No Choice but to
    give in to the idiots that create high rent prices, those who are
    homeless and do these Bad behavior issues are giving me a bad image- i
    myself am being punished by those who criticize homeless-ness, anyone
    who is homeless is branded a >Druggie-alcoholic-mentally incapacitated
    or worse a Criminal>NOT TRUE! REMEBER!! DO Not JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS
    COVER, CMON PEOPLE -Wake-Up an take a stand for what is right an stop
    thinking your better than me!
    PS; How about doin a report / commentary {if you got the courage} on
    peoples Greed an personal selfishness as they are the reason and
    cause of homeless-ness by paying these exuberant high mortgage cost
    /taxes and charging as much as they want -*thinking they are goin to
    make a profit {todays society is all about money & material things wat
    a shame!} this is happening across this country , it sickens me to
    hear people are worried about there property value if even 1person
    being homeless in there neighborhood-they better expect it to happen
    when they are given in to Greed or they are stupid and blind-sided by
    there own greed ,its only gonna get worse as we have an influx of
    Illegal Migrants-immigrant’s-refugees and now influx of Caravans from
    central America -so hold on to your tail and get ready for rent prices
    to sky-rocket even higher and more American citizens to go homeless an
    longer lines-more traffic congestion and more Babies being pumped-out
    ,what bothers me even more is when the police harass the homeless
    telling us we have to move-on >WHERE? they are puppets of city council
    or county commissioners ,where do the police think we are just gonna
    magically disappear or do they wish-encourage us to commit suicide-for
    most of us that’s NOT gonna happen,

  • You want your city back? Me too. I want a city where our primary concern is that people have hope for better days and a place to lay their head at night that is not a sidewalk, a dirt lot, or under a bush.

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