Homeless Housing is a County Problem


In (“Quest for Homeless Housing Takes Initial Steps,” June 1), it was noted that the city is being asked to consider plans for permanent housing for up to 40 disabled homeless people. As a resident I am sympathetic to the plight of the homeless, but I am not in favor of anything that makes our city any more homeless friendly than it already is. I am afraid permanent housing would make our town more of a magnet.


The article says that Laguna Beach’s Friendship Shelter (who manages Laguna’s homeless shelter), is a residential facility for temporarily displaced individuals that helps them return to independent living. It is my observation that most of the homeless in Laguna are chronic not temporarily displaced individuals. If that were the case I would be more in favor of a public funded permanent facility to support the Friendship Shelter mission statement, but providing such facilities will just increase the demand for an ever-increasing chronic population of homeless.


I would like to think that Laguna could get together with other beach cities in the area and the county facing this same issue to come up with a facility out of town managed by the county. Pooling public financing at the county level seems like a better way to solve the issue than each city having to come up with a solution on its own, and running the risk of a runaway city program requiring ever increasing public funding.


J. T. Price, Laguna Beach


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  1. M.D. Moore

    I agree with J. T. Price. While I have empathy for those truly in transitional need, it is clear to the most casual observer that most of these people have made a choice to live the homeless lifestyle. We see the same faces year after year. I still have sympathy for them, but they are not trying to improve their situation, this is, in most cases, a conscious choice. If we, as a society, promote it, are we helping or enabling?

    M.D. Moore

  2. Mary Dolphin

    To J T Price
    Whenever someone says ” I’m sympathetic….. but…”
    chances are they mean “I feel sorry but not enough to look for a solution that might inconvenience me in any way.”
    The shelter has been in operation for over 2 years and there are no statistics to support the magnet theory.
    Furthermore, the individuals in question are peoPle who have called this community home for many many years.
    They have a right to be here and we have an obligation, by virtue of being human, to help make that happen. We do not
    bus our most challenged members out of town to a central camp for the injured and disabled. They are not lepers though clearly there are people who would like to see them treated as such.

  3. Johnny Q. Public

    Let the NIMBYism begin! Nobody seems to want to deal with homeless individuals with disabilities. They want somebody else to handle it, and they don’t want it anywhere near their little slice of paradise. If you notice and read up a bit, the “homeless lifestyle,” like the “gay lifestyle,” is generally not a “choice.” Most of these folks have serious combinations of health issues that living outdoors exacerbates. If you want to look at it strictly in dollars and cents, studies show that taxpayers pay more overall for cumulative public services for unmet homeless housing – ER visits, police and fire calls, jail, court time – than we would if we just got people indoors and helped them manage their specific conditions. Makes for a healthier person overall who is no longer homeless, not to mention it is the right thing to do for people who can’t deal.

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