The ACLU lawsuit may be an opportunity for Laguna Beach to lead and organize this issue into a regional solution.
As the former national project director and chief executive of HandsAcrossAmerica, I did develop a humble knowledge of this very complicated issue. As you may remember, this was the first major event designed to create awareness of the issues of hunger and homelessness in America. I was also fortunate to chair Vision Laguna 2030.
The homeless population consists of about one-third of the people with drug and alcohol problems, one-third with some type of psychological and emotional issues and the rest who appear to choose this lifestyle.
There is no doubt that these folks need help and support. But where and how is the issue. But, misdirected compassion does not help anyone.
Laguna Beach, as well as most any other city, does not have the resources to solve this problem on their own.
There are a few questions that need to be considered;
- Who do you want to serve and how many?
- What services do you want to provide? Mental health, drug and alcohol intervention with detox and rehabilitation, job counseling?
- Who will provide the specialized services?
- Where do you want to house and provide these services?
- Who pays for it?
This is an opportunity for Laguna Beach to push for the development a countywide response.
Fred Droz, Laguna Beach