The homeless population did not change appreciably while citations tripled (“Homeless Citations Triple,” Feb. 2 edition.)
The shelter capacity dropped from 60 persons to 45 persons during this time, forcing more homeless into the surrounding area.
The majority of citations are to people sleeping immediately adjacent to the shelter. Forcing people to go to the shelter, then giving them tickets for sleeping outside if they are not qualified to stay, is an obvious tactic to pressure them out of town. This location is not “in town affecting local business”. Denial of access to the shelter is not appealable to anyone; it is final.
Why is a police officer assigned to the homeless? Is homelessness a criminal condition in our city?
How does one police officer giving out the majority of citations, targeting people at 2 to 4 a.m. in the morning, “help the homeless”?
Forcing people to choose to leave town or face citation and sleep deprivation as punishment for meeting a basic biological need is cruel and unusual.
How many crimes were committed against businesses in the city while police were busy three miles away in the canyon citing homeless people?
The city and the police desire to limit the homeless population of this city to 45 people they select based on residency and other local ties. All others, such as myself, are to be pressured to leave by citation, sleep deprivation, or threat.
Leonard J. Porto III,
Homeless resident of Laguna Beach