SANDRA WEAVER, San Clemente
Councilmember Cabral says “we” found the right person, Capt. Jay Christian, as the new police chief. Christian, he says, shares “our” concern about the growing population of transients passing through our city.
He then says “we” recently set up a council committee to delve into the complexities of the issue. So, this committee is ready to get rid of the homeless in San Clemente by inflicting more challenges for them than they already face.
They advocate for “regional housing alternatives” that would allow police to move homeless people out of the city into secure housing. Where is this secure housing?
In this same issue, there is a wonderful article about the work being done by Donna Vidrine and Tom Streeter of the Homeless Collaborative to seek viable solutions to the homeless problem. Their concern is for those needing help and not the NIMBYs.
Streeter wants to gather ideas from a variety of people. One person he would like to hear from is the new chief of police, but they have had no input from him. Donna Vidrine, founder of the Homeless Collaborative, wants to be proactive in securing a safe place to sleep, restrooms and parking for those living in cars or RVs, to name just a few.
Several years ago, I volunteered with a group called I-HOPE. They had a building here in San Clemente where homeless people could go and get a bag lunch and water. They also had a laundry, bathroom with showers, a computer room and, most important, an opportunity to meet with a counselor.
I have seen people wait in that office for two or three hours to talk with someone. I am not sure why it closed, but an educated guess would be that they were not able to afford the rent.
The NIMBYs in San Clemente need to count their blessings for the beautiful homes they own, good food always in their kitchen and all the amenities they enjoy. Then they need to look at those who need help in a kind, compassionate manner and lend a hand.