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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.