I am puzzled by the report that Laguna’s police department will be using a golf cart to round up homeless people found sleeping on the beach between the hours of 1 to 5 a.m. because “..people who walk in the early morning hours don’t like the nuisance issues and eyesore of people sleeping on the beach.”
People are actually taking their constitutional walk between 1 and 5 in the morning? Really? And, how is the “eyesore” of people sleeping in the wee hours of the morning any different from what people see dozing on the grassy areas of Main Beach during the day?
While I agree that people sleeping in public places can be less than visually appealing, the decision to roust them in the early hours seems pitiless. Over 20% of homeless people are over 65, another 22% or more are mentally ill, 12% are veterans. We know that “moving them along” to the Alternate Sleeping Location (ALS), which operates at full capacity, isn’t an option. Staying at a friend’s house doesn’t seem like a reasonable possibility either or they would be sleeping there instead of the beach.
So, where will those picked up by the golf cart come to rest in these early hours of morn? Your yard? Jail? All bad options.
If you want to remove eye sores, provide permanent supportive housing or get ready to step around sleeping bodies of homeless seniors, the mentally ill, and veterans.
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