Members of Christ Lutheran Church and St. Clement’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, San Clemente

San Clemente, as well as every other city in Southern California, has been the home for homeless for years. However, the recent “tent city” on the lawn of Ole Hanson Beach Club has sparked new outrage and judgment from housed residents. We have read with horror the threats of violence against homeless on social media. We are dismayed to hear music blared 24 hours a day at the Ole Hanson lawn area in an effort to drive off the homeless encamped there. The area has now been cleared and all bushes in the area removed. This is not how we would expect our citizens and leaders to behave, especially given the failure to provide alternative facilities for the homeless. We are calling for calm, compassion and an end to threats of violence against our most vulnerable neighbors.

Residents are demanding the campers move to another location. But there is nowhere else for these folks to move. Their mental states are fragile, sometimes because of long-term trauma, sometimes because of addiction. It is unlikely they can hold a job without support. They have broken relationships with family and friends, or their close networks have faded away through no fault of their own.

We follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, who told us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and “whatever you do to the least of your brethren, you do to me.” (Matthew 25:40)

We agree the situation has become dire. We, therefore, call for shelter, mental health services and an end of harassment to these most vulnerable residents of San Clemente.

Signed, Matthew Baumgartner; Pastor Brenda Bos, Christ Lutheran Church; Bridget Callanan and Gerry Loughman; Rev. Patrick Crerar, Rector St. Clements-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church; Kathy and Jim Ferguson; Judy and Norman Franz; Sue Fulks; Janice Genevro; Louise and Pat Gilliam; Ken Gilliland; Kirk Goodfellow; Jennifer Halbmaier; Linda Hardy; Kathy Hartl; Cheri and Steve Hopper; Tina Inglish; Mary-Frances Maddox; Melody Matthews; Barbara McCaffrey; Lynn McKenrick; Laura Pephens; Joe and Nancy Pohlot; Susan Rohde; Ron and Barbara Romaniello; Gail and Bob Rosemeyer; Rev. Dr. Eric Smith, St. Andrew’s by the Sea United Methodist Church; Rev. Lucy Stafford-Lewis; Ron Sukut, pastor Judie Thompson; Mary and Tom Whitman; Marilyn Wolf.

About The Author Staff

comments (11)

  • please please open your homes and let them in ,, help our community and your fellow brethren by stopping the obstruction of public right of way and non public use of public property
    church’s let the tent city live on your grounds there you can take care of these folks the way you think we should !! stop your hypocrisy and stop pointing your finger of shame less thy point at oneself’s

    Matthew Baumgartner; Pastor Brenda Bos, Christ Lutheran Church; Bridget Callanan and Gerry Loughman; Rev. Patrick Crerar, Rector St. Clements-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church; Kathy and Jim Ferguson; Judy and Norman Franz; Sue Fulks; Janice Genevro; Louise and Pat Gilliam; Ken Gilliland; Kirk Goodfellow; Jennifer Halbmaier; Linda Hardy; Kathy Hartl; Cheri and Steve Hopper; Tina Inglish; Mary-Frances Maddox; Melody Matthews; Barbara McCaffrey; Lynn McKenrick; Laura Pephens; Joe and Nancy Pohlot; Susan Rohde; Ron and Barbara Romaniello; Gail and Bob Rosemeyer; Rev. Dr. Eric Smith, St. Andrew’s by the Sea United Methodist Church; Rev. Lucy Stafford-Lewis; Ron Sukut, pastor Judie Thompson; Mary and Tom Whitman; Marilyn Wolf.

  • Look at the long list of people. This is a list of enablers. The ‘help’ they provide causes people to live in the bottom rung of society. In fact, they bring them food, clothes, tents and more to make their stay at the bottom more enjoyable. In return the inhabitants of North Beach fight, steal, defecate where they please, and live like animals.

    This is not compassion. This is not what help looks like. This is the opposite of compassion. I’d feel sorry for these enablers, except that it’s quite likely that the results of their work will kill some of the people at North Beach. The addicts at North Beach need medical and mental help, not sandwiches. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

  • To all misguided people bringing the homeless food, water, blankets..etc. Please stop..my cousin a heroin addict lives on the streets and can make 50 bucks a hour on the fwy off ramp which he doesn’t use for food cause church groups give him more food that he can eat or use the money on any needs he has…. he uses the money for more Heroin. He laughs about the fact he gets everything he wants free including money for Heroin. My family is heartbroken because people won’t stop making it easy for him to stay on drugs and living the homeless lifestyle. We made the decision to only help him if he is willing to get treatment but as he says he doesn’t need our help, all the church people give him all he wants. So when the day comes and he OD’s (again) and hopefully not for the last time think to yourself, did YOU help buy that bit of drugs he OD on?

  • I suggest that you move them to your Church parking lot and feed them during your services.
    Have you seen the videos of the beat down, drugs, defecation, fights, urination?
    What is your motive here? Who is paying you? This is misguided compassion.

  • The faux virtue signaling and finger waggling by the churches and chaos enablers is rich. I would once like to see comparable outrage when an innocent law abiding citizen has been brutalized, murdered and victimized by one of their new preferred entitled class; the homeless.

    There have been ample opportunities. To mention a few, the woman recently stabbed 50 times by two transients who broke into her home in San Diego County; or the man sitting with his daughter in his lap enjoying dinner out with his family stabbed in the throat by a homeless person with a “fragile mind” indulged, enabled and permitted to run amok by the City of Ventura.

    And, closer to home, where were the churches and do-gooders when a woman was threatened by a knife wielding panhandler at a San Clemente donut shop; or, the elderly woman humiliated and frightened by the transient who grabbed her by the neck and forcibly kissed her in front of Tuvalu’s? Or, what about the transient being beaten by another transient with a golf club on the North Beach train platform. Where are the lectures and the outrage and demands for action???

    I could go on and on and on.

    These churches represent the enablers and apologists for all the pathologies brought upon our community. They are part of the mindless functional and political eco-system of indulgence and free food that supports the behavior. The result is chaos and disorder; not compassion. And, the fruits of chaos and disorder are the victimization of the frail, vulnerable and unwary.

    I seem to recall that “hypocrisy” was also frowned upon in the Good Book.

    Justin McCarthy

    • is mercy house playing both ends ???????????????????????
      creating and not resolving its a old business plan
      :::::::::::(-:P

  • Hear hear. Add my name to your compassionate, common-sense letter.

  • Capt. Tim Echesberger DDS Reply

    All of this homeless stuff is kind of tricky? One one hand, our Savior , The Lord Jesus Christ, tells us clearly to follow his ways which were to feed, clothe, shelter and otherwise care for the poor even by giving away all that we own. On the other hand, Fox News tells us that the poor should help themselves because in America anyone can succeed. What’s a guy to think?
    Well, until we figure out a better solution (and I know we will), I think I’ll go with the Christ.

    • very christian capt Tim
      our problem is the truly needing dont get help because of the defiant strong arm extortion of the drug addled able bodied who obstruct the care of the true needy
      if we where to pitch our own tent how would we fair ? who would help and who would hurt ,, another tent dweller ???
      i have ideas and i can help but not alone its not safe :::::::::::(-:P

  • This is a drug issue, not a “poor’ issue. By giving food to addicts, you are perpetuating their addiction and keeping them from seeking treatment. You are, in fact, killing them with kindness.

    If you want to help, don’t feed them. Advocate for medical detox and support for recovery and addressing the issues that caused the addiction in the first place.

  • Open the doors of your church and convert it into a shelter!
    Matthew Baumgartner; Pastor Brenda Bos, Christ Lutheran Church; Bridget Callanan and Gerry Loughman; Rev. Patrick Crerar, Rector St. Clements-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church; Kathy and Jim Ferguson; Judy and Norman Franz; Sue Fulks; Janice Genevro; Louise and Pat Gilliam; Ken Gilliland; Kirk Goodfellow; Jennifer Halbmaier; Linda Hardy; Kathy Hartl; Cheri and Steve Hopper; Tina Inglish; Mary-Frances Maddox; Melody Matthews; Barbara McCaffrey; Lynn McKenrick; Laura Pephens; Joe and Nancy Pohlot; Susan Rohde; Ron and Barbara Romaniello; Gail and Bob Rosemeyer; Rev. Dr. Eric Smith, St. Andrew’s by the Sea United Methodist Church; Rev. Lucy Stafford-Lewis; Ron Sukut, pastor Judie Thompson; Mary and Tom Whitman; Marilyn Wolf.

comments (11)

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>