In response to James Dane’s letter of May 23, I would have to agree that most homeless people prefer life on the street, unburdened by minor trivialities like responsibility, deed, fines or objectives.
I am completely opposed to this 40-unit housing for the mentally ill (has anyone considered housing the senior citizens?). They’ll burn it to the ground in the first week, and you don’t expect them to bathe and pick up after themselves do you?
You’ve already got 44 people staying at the ASL, plus an overflow of another 20 from out of the city, out of the county, out of state, who sleep in the parking lot. Some of these people are on a 24/7 trip. They never leave the property. After the staff drives off in the morning, they turn the place into a Chinese opium den.
You move in a 40-unit complex and you’re going to have 100 people a night lining up for dinner – you don’t expect them to use those 40-unit kitchens, do you? – putting more burdens on the churches that bring in dinner every evening.
The ones who don’t camp on the cement, idle away the day at the bus depot or at the parks anxiously awaiting the arrival of the white van so they can continue their chaos at “The Box” (ASL). As for “police presence” I have yet to see any.
I should probably mention, I myself am currently residing at the ASL, so I have a direct view of these things.
I attended the April city council meeting where over 200 “concerned citizens” expressed their views. As far as I could see, I was the only person from the ASL. I tried to get others interested in showing up but they were afraid they would miss dinner or not get their favorite mat.
Of course, as soon as I got back they wanted a detailed report as to when they were going to get their apartments. You figure it out.
Adrian Forrest, Laguna Beach
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