Opinion » Letters

Forever changed


The "More than Grover Beach" opinion piece (March 21) could not have stated the situation any better. It was very unconscionable of all the stakeholders involved with Five Cities Homeless Coalition (5CHC) and the Peoples' Self-Help Housing not to daylight the proposed homeless project to all of the residents in the Five Cities neighborhoods directly affected by this project.

Precedents have already been established for bad behavior at the Hillside Church location. Additional concerns not mentioned by Mr. Oakley include a preschool and a 55-and-older community within two blocks of the church and the associated increase in problems due to an increase in clientele at the homeless project. By 5CHC's own admission in a public meeting, there are currently up to as many as 250 visits a month to the nonprofit's current office, it is looking at a jail-to-community program, and it would entertain a needle exchange program.

Rather than trying to cobble together many parts of the 5CHC to this location, couldn't we rally together as a community and collaborate on a new all-encompassing wraparound facility at a better location?

Every resident within a 2-mile radius of Hillside Church on Newport Avenue should be gravely concerned for the safety of their children and elderly. Now is the time to take action; come up with a better solution or your and your children's lives will be changed forever.

Paul C. Hertel

Arroyo Grande

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