Letter to the Editor:
I just finished reading (for the third time) the front-page article in your December 8 issue reporting that our city has just received a $30,000 grant from the county to hire a consultant “tasked with…developing solutions for the homelessness issue…in the city”. Well, wow, gee whiz, I wonder what our future consultant’s solution will be…Given the paltry sum he’s going to earn, I’d guess it will include all of the usual pap, such as “affordable housing”, more rest facilities, meals, etc, etc. All these “solutions” will be aimed at providing aid and comfort for the nine homeless persons currently “laying their heads” somewhere in our city and I wouldn’t expect much in the way of any really original thinking. Frankly, in my more than fifty years a resident of South Pasadena, this has to be among the biggest wastes of money.
This kind of bleeding heart concern reminds me of all the good folks who just can’t wait to feed the pigeons. I understand in some cities laws have had to be passed forbidding this kind of activity. It seems that other pigeons learn of the freebie handouts and begin to congregate in numbers large enough to constitute a real nuisance with pigeon excrement all over the sidewalks. It begs the question: why would homeless people behave any differently than the pigeons? We can see the results of such magnets all along the Hollywood Freeway on Vermont Avenue and down south of us along the Santa Ana River. In those places, homeless individuals have congregated in large numbers, almost exclusively on public land, where they turn the area into a large and filthy junk heap, throwing their trash away wherever they’re standing, relieving themselves in the nearest convenient spot and (I presume) lowering the value of nearby properties.
I have to ask if anyone has an answer for this. Do we really want to see our city turned into a Toonerville flop-house? On the surface, I have to commend the warm outlook your article reports our police have toward our homeless vagrants. But again, I have to ask if this idea of trying to accommodate a bunch of people who don’t pay a nickel of the cops’ salaries in preference to the best interests of the 10,000 or so property owners who do is really in our best interest. It would seem to me that now is the time for some real top-down direction from our left-leaning City Council as to what needs to be done and how to “take care” of the vagrant issue.
At risk of offending any libs reading my ramblings, may I suggest one solution where we issue one-way bus tickets to our homeless people to San Francisco where they can register under the name of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate (that’s the homeless guy who shot and killed Kate Steimle) and seek sanctuary. I could ramble on with other suggestions, for example, we already have affordable housing…It’s called San Bernardino, Quartzite, Arizona, and Alabama, but I’ll sign off here.
– Donald F. Nichols