Phoenix House is a No. 1 rated world benchmark for rehabilitation clinics. They have inhouse doctors, psychologists, therapists, nutritionists and guards to protect and direct a locked down reality check. They are a worldwide, nationally acclaimed institution. The director was on “60 Minutes” a few years ago, sadly stating there was only a 4 percent success rate.
Why bother? Funded by federal grants and state bonds, it is a financial burden and a scam to U.S. taxpayers. You could not run any business with those statistics nor get investors.
The Homeless shelter has none of these advantages.
I have been in Laguna Beach for 30 years. I have a vested interest, documented by three separate property tax bills.
I do not recognize the sludge and flotsam sucking off this municipality’s good will. These are not college kids over in Europe staying in a hospice until they find themselves, gain employment and contribute back to society.
If you can drive a car and smoke a cigarette, you can work. These people have used up all possibilities inherent to youth and are “gaming” the system. They do not want to work and have probably never worked. Some are very old, frail women and that makes me sad because they’re probably somebody’s mother. The truth be told, it could be you or I. But those odds are greatly diminished because we have worked hard all our lives and have taken advantage of the educational system rather than the welfare system.
This is a resort-tourist town. This is not Detroit, Mich., the Bronx or the south side of Chicago or the backwoods of Alabama. These people do not belong here. They need a tune up talk and a kick in the pants out of town. It would be like me showing up at the Four Seasons restaurant in New York in a t-shirt, cutoff Levi’s and no shoes demanding service and yet no money.
A $10 million deficit is projected by the city of Laguna Beach and yet the City Council just spent $340,000 for a modular shelter for the homeless, $660,000 for the Verizon lot and future site, plus a projected annual cost of $140,000 to maintain the program.
It gets better. Re: $50,000 (each) on psychedelic bench-chairs from some council member’s artist relative? Did we vote on that? and $150,000 for a children’s spaceship for Bluebird Park. Has the world gone daft?
Thomas I. Friedman recently compared U.S. spending to rebuild infrastructure in Afghanistan to unemployed people wanting to adopt a special needs baby.
The same is true here. These council members and Mr. Legal Beagle, the ineffectual city attorney, are making horribly wrong decisions on the future social culture of Laguna Beach. They have got to be removed post haste.
I announce my running as a council member next election. A few of the positions I will be running on: random drug testing mandatory for City Council members. I will also request a statement of running members’ political party affiliation. (We really don’t want people who voted twice for a lying imbecile, do we?) Financial-employment statements of candidates, immediate fiscal responsibility (possibly a 15 to 20 percent reduction in city pension programs or the elimination of those positions, and the hiring of Newport Beach City Law Council.
Christopher Nelson, Laguna Beach