Did you hear Grover Beach resident and alleged roommate slayer Manuel Jesus Perez, 43, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to stabbing his roommate to death before setting his body afire? Apparently Perez, his victim, and two other roommates rented rooms in a worse-than-Haiti shithole flophouse where many residents were current or recovered drug addicts. Perez, who claims his roommate had been harassing him mercilessly, was allegedly smoking meth and waiting for the victim to wake up to confront him about the teasing, and when he did, things got real stabby real fast. Even though he bought lighter fluid in advance and zip-tied two steak knives together, Perez's lawyer claims it wasn't premeditated.
Would this have happened if the county had a residential detox and treatment facility? It sounds like Perez sure could have used one! Where's the help for people like Perez and his roomies? According to a press release by the SLO County Health Agency, "There are approximately 22,300 to 27,100 adults (about 10 percent of adults) with substance use disorder issues in SLO County." One in 10!
The agency also noted that there are only five beds covered by Medi-Cal in the county ... except they aren't for just anyone. They're in Bryan's House in Paso Robles, which provides care solely to pregnant women or women with children. I guess that means if you're a indigent male meth-head living in a Grover Beach shithole with other druggies, there are zero detox beds.
Let's face it: If you're a drug addict, mentally ill, or both, our county has one place for you, and it's called the SLO County Jail, which is apparently an easy place to die. On Jan. 1, more than 100 supporters gathered outside the jail to honor the one-year anniversary of the death of Andrew Holland, a mentally ill 36-year-old who died of an embolism after spending nearly two days strapped naked and largely ignored in a restraint chair. All told, Holland is one of 12 people to have died in jail custody since 2012, which is way above the national average.
The exciting news is that the SLO County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a plan to build a detox and treatment center at 40 Prado Rd., where the county's new regional homeless campus is being built. Yay! Way to go!
Did I mention the new detox facility will have 10 beds. Ten.
Yes, doing something is better than doing nothing. No, this effort does not go far enough. But, at least the supes agreed on something, right? Well, sort of.
Liberal 3rd District Supervisor Adam Hill worried about the "operating costs" of the detox center and labeled himself and fellow liberal board member, 2nd District Supervisor Bruce Gibson, as the board's "fiscal conservatives." As far as I can tell that was Hill's swipe at the other three members of the board—the supposed politically affiliated fiscal conservatives—for not worrying about the costs. Then he moved onto CAPSLO (Community Action Partnership of SLO County), which will house the new detox facility, over how it checks individuals into its homeless shelter. And since CAPSLO won't be running the detox center, the comments made no sense!
It feels like every fight is personal for Hill, even when everyone agrees. Hill used to be a big supporter of CAPSLO when his wife Dee Torres ran it, but because she was demoted in what she alleged was retaliation for whistleblowing (she no longer works there), he seems to feel that any excuse to blow his whistle is a good excuse. Even if it seems pretty damn clear SLO County Mental Health can't keep up with detox demand.
I know one would assume since San Luis Obispo is the happiest place in America such facilities wouldn't be necessary, but they are. SLO Town is even now planning for "crazy" terrorists to attack the Thursday night Farmers' Market.
"You see too many examples of one crazy person," SLO Mayor Heidi Harmon said in regard to the city's plan to install street bollards to protect the downtown Farmers' Market from vehicle attacks, to which Facebooker and politically correct word-Nazi Miriam Budderfly Mackay-Gill said, "That's some pretty ableist (sic) language. You owe your constituents with mental illness an apology."
Um, it's not like Harmon argued that all mentally ill are violent, only that someone would have to be insane to drive a car into a crowd of people which ... yeah! Anyway, the city is working on a $1.2 million plan to install the ... wait a minute! What in the actual hell? Hey city of SLO, you have unmet pension obligations, you're about to lose PG&E's Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant-funded hot cash injection, and you want to drop a million-plus smackaroos on street bollards? Just how likely is this potential attack? Talk about crazy!
You know what's really absurd? The racist flyers found posted around Cal Poly that attempt to blame African-Americans for the racism they suffer! "FACT: 28 percent of black males go to jail, vs. 4.4 percent white males."
Interesting! I wonder if that has anything to do with black communities being more policed than white communities, or if it has anything to do with America's systemic racism, which impoverishes black communities and increases black unemployment? Victim blaming, ain't it grand! Δ
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