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MICHELLE BROOKS, San Clemente

I felt Shawn Raymundo’s recent article on disbanding the Trestles homeless camp warranted a response. He depicts a harmonious living situation comprised of individuals that society has rejected. 

He claims “nearly two dozen of the city’s homeless” live there, when in fact many are from San Diego. Ms. Mikulec states they are there to “avoid harassment by residents, as well as law enforcement.” 

Since when is enforcing laws considered harassment? Where are we as a society that it is more acceptable to let people sleep in the dirt rather than helping them? How is offering services and connecting people to places that can help them considered harassment? 

It’s not OK to live outside the laws of society with zero accountability. We all contribute to the world we live in. Why are we so scared of lawsuits that we turn a blind eye to those in need? 

Did Shawn interview any nearby residents and ask them of the activity they saw? Trestles is a path hundreds of kids and adults walk and bike daily, and not knowing who is living in the bushes is alarming.

Please tell us about the other 20 people living there. The few he highlighted tugged at my heartstrings and, for them, we need to do better. Did Shawn ask the advocates and attorneys how many they have gotten off drugs, or into jobs or mental health help? Those are the root causes of homelessness.

Not only is this an “environmentally sensitive area” with “No trespassing” posted, it’s also alongside a freeway off-ramp. How is that a tranquil living environment? How is living “out of sight, out of mind” acceptable, when the rest of society must follow laws? 

I pray that the proper agencies who can actually help will be present and bring everyone there to a safer place, where they can truly rest their heads at night knowing they will finally receive the help they may not even know they need. 

The question remains, though, what about those who don’t want to go?

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