Sandra Weaver, San Clemente
I ran across a Facebook post on March 12 from someone who had used the restroom at the Talega Ralphs store. She saw a homeless man drinking wine out of one of those boxes. She was told this happens regularly, and her comment was something like “What is America coming to?” What we as a nation have “come to” is a nation of people who lack compassion and look down on those who are less fortunate, often labeling them as “lazy.” We have not been proactive in making sure people who need medical or psychological help can get it.
This is brought to light by the lawsuit filed against the cities of San Clemente, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, Irvine and Aliso Viejo because the plaintiffs claim these cities have not done enough to provide for a shelter. According to a report by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the homeless mortality rate has spiked from about 120 in 2014 to more than 210 last year.
San Clemente continually defied SB 2, which mandates cities at least zone areas to allow for adequate homeless shelters, until last year. This litigation costs cities tens of thousands of dollars. And all because our elite San Clementeans don’t want “those people” around here.
With all of the rain and cold weather we have been experiencing this winter, can anyone really snuggle under their covers and not think of those out in the rain and cold who have no shelter?
I am sure many sleep very well, but I don’t. “Homeless” should not even be a word. As San Clemente-Americans, we should be doing everything in our power to help those in need, whether it be for food, shelter, medical care or just a smile, kind word and maybe a couple of dollars to help them get through the day.
There is a way, if there is a will. Unfortunately, there are too many “wont’s” and too many NIMBYs.
Editor’s note: Many homeless advocacy groups discourage people from giving money directly to the homeless population and panhandlers.
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