Sandra Weaver, San Clemente
I am an advocate of people who are homeless and have been writing letters, speaking at City Council meetings and posting on Facebook about the need for our City Council to comply with Senate Bill 2 and create a zone for a homeless shelter. I believe that if that had been done instead of continually fighting it (and losing in court), we might have a shelter here now and be better equipped to handle the homeless sent to us by the county.
That being said, I had no idea the county had taken steps to move the homeless from the Santa Ana riverbed to surrounding communities, including San Clemente. I attended the Council meeting on Tuesday and was made aware of how this decision has affected our community. While I still firmly believe in treating homeless people like human beings, which they are, and helping them whenever we can, I do not believe this temporary motel idea is the answer. This would require a great deal of oversight in monitoring the people in motels and working with them in their transition.
Does the county have adequate resources to monitor each person they have sent here to our community? And why are they offering motel accommodations to these folks here in San Clemente while our own homeless people have no place to go? If they have had success in the central and northern Orange County cities, I would suggest building on that and taking one community at a time. The homeless have been around for a long time and the solution to getting them off the streets and on the path to a better life will not happen in 30 days. Mental health and drug addiction seem to be the main problems of the homelessness population. Let’s start by addressing those problems. Do some laws need to be changed?
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