Having lived in New York City for 52 years, I moved to San Luis Obispo 13 years ago for the obvious reasons. In July 1999, there were some transients who came to town and hung out on their way to bigger and better things. At that time, the homeless population consisted of these wannabees and probably some real homeless people. However, the real homeless appeared to be few and far between, and were, thankfully, tucked out of the way so as not to make us feel bad about ourselves.
Today if you go to Downtown San Luis, you will meet the same transients, and also a huge population of the real homeless. They are not on their way to somewhere better; they are here and they are staying. Why not? The weather is perfect for homelessness and the area is pretty. They can stuff their stuff into huge shopping carts and peddle their wares while relaxing on convenient park benches … and don’t creeks provide convenient living accommodations?!
I read a letter from Ms. Sherbon who thinks that they should be dealt with. I like that idea … maybe like the Jews were dealt with, or the Japanese-Americans, or the disease ridden. (Lepers?) We do not want our struggling Downtown business owners to be inconvenienced by people who do not spend money, and God forbid, it would be a shame if our precious children have to deal with the population of people who should be shunned. Reality is such a bummer!
Wake up, folks! They are here and they are queer. They are not going home because they no longer have homes to go to. They may be on drugs (can you blame them?) or they may be mentally ill (can you blame them?). We do not know that, neither does Ms. Sherbon, business owner and mother of two. They annoy us, they are dirty, they want things from us that we do not care to give them, and they remind us of the way we are … or the way we could be. Personally, I think Ms. Leela Sherbon’s idea is great: clean them up, ship them out, and as they say in Brooklyn, fuggetaboutit.