Dear Ms. Pismo Beach: I’m sorry to say, but you have a seemingly narrow idea of reality. Your perspective on homelessness is quite tragic to say the very least. It was very evident in your three scenarios that you are not fully aware of what it means to be homeless.
First and foremost the majority of homeless individuals that I have had contact with in SLO have been nothing but kind. Sure there are difficult people, but they come in all shapes, sizes, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Do you really think that these guys who say you have a cute kid are going to steal your child?! Where on earth would they run off with them? I applaud your efforts to keep your children safe, but sheltering them from everything may come back to haunt you when perhaps they choose to live the nomad lifestyle when they get to be in their early 20’s.
Your very vague overstatements about them being on drugs or schizophrenic show nothing but ignorance. I’m not doubting that there are many people who roam our city who are high on some sort of illegal substance or are suffering from mental illness, but what are we as a community doing to support these individuals to make changes.
I’ll have you know that our mental health and drug and alcohol services are nothing but difficult to navigate. Will it solve any issue to push them to the city limits and ask them not to return? Not likely. Perhaps we could approach people with a bit more dignity and respect? What about loving people and serving those who don’t have what we have? I sincerely hope that you and others who share this very narrow perspective will never have to wonder where you will sleep at night, how you will get your next meal, or what you will do to numb the pain of your past. I challenge you to look beyond yourself and see the homeless for what they are ... people. People who need love, compassion, and community just like you and me. Maybe stop being so afraid of them and talk to them to hear their story and you will find that you are not so different.