Make a change

LETTER: Writer speaks from experience on homelessness

In regards to all of the attention given to the homeless, I see the issue and feel empathetic, but some people say they have no choice. I respectfully disagree. We have two choices to any given situation.

I do speak from experience as I was left on the street and spent two weeks in a shelter. I worked hard with the ample community services and facilities in the area and found rooms. I moved 10 times in two years until I found a viable place. I found a room-mate to share costs which made the high rent workable. I believe homelessness is a choice but often it’s tough to find something better.

It’s hard to work towards improvement but I think it’s harder to live in a destitute situation. Asking for help is tough, and for some people, demeaning. The help is there for people to utilize.

Extending hours for people to find shelter before dark in the park is enabling, not forcing people to seek other options. Most banks have shut there ATM vestibules to the public to stop people from seeking shelter inside. Zero tolerance works. So much money is spent on police attending to this problem, which is necessary, but not helping to solve the issue.

The job situation is plentiful at present in nurseries and orchards. There is an influx of Mexican people and Jamaicans to fill these jobs and they are given shelter. it’s insane that people on the street don’t take this opportunity.

On the positive side, a lot of these people collect empties. I see them relentlessly and very diligently. I’m sure working in orchards would be more lucrative. Also, The Morning Star always needs carriers.

This may be a pipe dream or not feasible but now about temporary shelters and workshops be set up in a large warehouse to stop this madness. A lot of taxpayer money is being spent on police attention so why not redirect the money? I know each person has different issues and needs outside help but I’m pretty sure the majority of these homeless people can make a change to utilize some of the options I’ve outlined.

This situation has escalated to an extreme, intolerable situation. There is lots of media attention and conversation but I’d say now is the time to stop talking and deal with it. Let’s help these people and make a change. It would be in everyone’s best interest.

M. Orlando

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