SANDY HIGHBERG, San Clemente

As most of you obviously know, the homeless city lot encampment has been growing exponentially. The homeless community far and wide is finding out about the free camping and free food from FAM that is offered in the beautiful beach town of San Clemente.

I have a friend who was in New York, and she knew a homeless person who was talking about how they are going to try to get to San Clemente because they heard how wonderful it is. Heck, I cannot blame them; if I were homeless, I would do whatever it takes to get to this town.

But now, this small town cannot just sit back and allow this homeless community to grow and grow. Dear City Council, please answer my question: what is the San Clemente City Council discussing or planning?  I feel we, the citizens, are all in the dark.

Yes, there needs to be a regional shelter, but placing it here would potentially bring in hundreds of more homeless citizens that we do not have the health care, police protection or any resources to support such an influx. San Clemente, including south San Clemente, needs to know that this population of people will not just be sitting at the proposed regional shelter off Pico all day; they will be going to our beaches, and crime will definitely increase in all areas of San Clemente. It will change the face of our community.

This shelter needs to be more centrally located—not placed at the far southern tip of the county. Please, everyone write emails to the city council to beg for this not to happen. The council needs to strongly represent us and fight for this not to happen.

We the people of San Clemente cannot just sit around texting and complaining about this growing homeless population. Just drive by the city lot; it is growing by the day. Something needs to be done very soon before they make roots. We must all loudly and persistently voice our opinions.

 

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comments (2)

  • All shelters have limited capacity and are for the night ,,,,,,,this shelter is no deferent,,,,everyone needs to pack up daily anything left behind is disposed of,,,,,,other city’s should open up a area or two,,,,,,fam can open up their parking lot and grounds for long term if they wish ,,,,,please walk the drug dogs thru the camp,,,,with out rules of capacity and camping times there will be drama time for council to meet weekly starting now before homeless gangs and death develope

  • Sandy, hi, I just wanted to clarify something that for some reason people keep erroneously asserting. FAM does not provide food to anyone in that lot. They have not provided food for the overwhelming majority of homeless clients (and I mean I don’t know anyone who has gotten food from them) for many months. People camping in the lot are actually regularly hungry. Many receive no food assistance (Cal Fresh/EBT/”food stamps”) at all, and even for those who do, the money does not last more than about half the month. (Without cooking facilities it’s hard to stretch that money.)

    I know that was not the point of your post, but I just wanted to correct that one error.

    Oh, and in regards to your main point, personally I wish the cities would all have their own shelters. and if San Clemente did that there surely would be no threat of a regional shelter here.

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