Opinion » Letters

Dear Shredder,

San Luis Obispo

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When I read the comment left by Leela Sherbon about her frustration with the homeless individuals downtown, I’ll admit I laughed at her a little. I thought she was being a little dramatic and seemed to conclude all homeless people are on drugs and trying to take her child. However, after reading your article, which I’m assuming was trying to be a funny adaptation of that, I felt compelled to come to her defense. I am, quite honestly, astonished and disgusted of your blatant mockery towards her and absolute carelessness about the issue at hand. You did nothing but belittle her, and lump her and others into a category of rich, brand-driven, snobs who only have concern about themselves.

Well let me give YOU a little opinion of my own. I manage a local business and have worked in Downtown SLO for nine years, I’ve had many encounters with the homeless here and hardly a day goes by where I don’t have some kind of interaction with them. Yes, the majority of them are annoying but for the most part harmless. Let me highlight some of my personal experiences and feelings. It gets irritating when the same 55 year old man sits outside of Chipotle and asks me daily if I can “help him finance a burrito” while his very expensive bike (which I’ve seen him riding) is chained up next to him. I guess he didn’t need any help financing that, or maybe he was able to with all the burrito money? It gets concerning when I see the man who was caught masturbating in the Abercrombie  Fitch fitting room (as told to me by an employee of A and the police) sitting on the benches downtown. I guess he’s able to be closer to my store because perhaps he isn’t allowed within a certain distance of A. Oh and did I mention that a transient woman DID steal something: a shirt from my store which I had to retrieve from her.

But don’t be concerned about me, I’m just a stuck-up girl with her head in the clouds who’s too worried about the latest fashions to care about real issues. Did I also mention I’m 28 years old, went to Cal Poly, pay all of my own bills, student loans, and work the ol’ 40 hours a week. I don’t own a house, or have any children but I imagine there is a greater financial burden on those people. You are defending people who are quite capable of getting their feet on the ground and demonizing those who work hard for the money they have to buy those Coach purses and non-fat no-whip mochas!

There are homeless citizens in this community that do need some genuine help, but I don’t think a lot of them are the “homeless” you find in the downtown area. The local government seems to be disconcerted or is turning a blind eye to the issue. They are more worried about how they can make more than $3 million a year on parking, whether racks are too far out into the sidewalk, or the fact that a sign does not fit the code. Thanks SLO, Downtown is so much nicer now.

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