Anthony LaFrano, San Clemente
I need to respond to Karen Reisdorf’s letter (“Seek Out the Compassionate Route on Homeless Issue,” June 19) calling one reader “ignorant” for not wanting a homeless shelter in our city. I too wish to be one of the ignorant who does not want a shelter in our town. Ms. Reisdorf, we do not have a crisis on our hands we have 65 homeless people in San Clemente or roughly .01 percent of our population. We will have a crisis if we build a homeless shelter and this will be the most desirable stop on the homeless tour.
This is a family town with family values and it is clear that you have never lived with homeless people. I lived in San Francisco and I have seen what happens when you have homeless-friendly policies. You just get more homeless and they put an added stress on city services like fire and police. Ask any first responder in San Francisco what they think of the homeless and they will tell you it is a nightmare.
San Francisco has the most aggressive pro-homeless city council in the country and a very large homeless population. They offer all the services, shelter, food and clothing and the homeless keep flocking there for the freebies. It is not working up there. The city has gotten dirtier and there is not one sidewalk that doesn’t have human fecal matter on it. It is a mess.
Homelessness for most is a lifestyle and many homeless do not want help. In Portland, Oregon, and in many cities in Colorado, it is cool to be homeless. They all get federal assistance from the current administration and they all have cell phones.
Our Planning Commission might allow a shelter next to the Denny’s Restaurant on Pico? I can see it now, “Hey come on down to San Clemente they have a brand new shelter two blocks from the beach. You can panhandle at the new outlet stores one block away, get a Grand Slam breakfast for $1.99 and go cruise chicks over at the high school across the street.”
Oh, and by the way, “You can get here by train from anywhere in the country. It stops right at the shelter—just get off and walk two blocks up the street.”
This is going to be the super highway of homelessness. This is probably the best place in the country to be homeless. Build it and they will come.
This is one genie we do not want to let out of the bottle because once you do, it is impossible to get it back in. Ms. Reisdorf, if you want to live in a homeless friendly city, then move to Venice Beach and see how you like it. I prefer to keep things the way they are right now, a sleepy, happy, clean little beach town full of hardworking people with good values. Ms. Reisdorf: “ignorance is bliss.”