San Diego CityBeat recently published an article titled, “The attitude of entitlement in the service industry” [May 18] by a columnist named Edwin Decker. Mr. Decker has written retrograde nonsense before (“The vindication of a lesbian porn connoisseur” comes to mind) but this really takes the cake. This article is the most longwinded “A cute server didn’t talk to me” rant I’ve ever seen, and to tie it into this overarching take about “entitlement” is just a really lazy and deeply ironic way for him to use a public platform to lash out at a worker.
In addition, all the lascivious and gross adjectives used to describe this server (“buxom,” “punkgina”) are just further indications that Mr. Decker was shut down in his flirting and decided to take it out in the most public way possible. Please don’t let CityBeat be turned into a hot-take factory for the sake of a bad writer’s ego purge.
Ben Salazar, Los Angeles
There were 3.7 billion people in the world in 1970. There are 7.4 billion now. Demographic projections currently say that any plateau in population growth is unlikely to be reached until the year 2100 at around 11 billion. We are on a planet with finite resources. There are homeless people in New York, Los Angeles, San Diego and elsewhere. The problem of what to do with the homeless will still be with us when our great-grandchildren are alive. Assume that all 7.4 billion lives matter. What can we do with the unfortunates living on the streets of San Diego?
The solution to a “safety concern” in Sherman Heights is to install a rock garden [“Underpass rock garden is called anti-homeless,” April 26] that has lots of rocks, and little or no garden. NIMBY. Whatever the right place to locate the unsightly riff-raff living on the streets is always in someone else’s neighborhood. San Diego city government has approved of a plan to find homes for 1,000 homeless veterans in 2016. Homes found so far: 29. Continuing at that rate it will take 12 years to locate residences for the other 981. There are two tiers for those surviving on the streets. Veterans have at least a slight preference.
The other thousands of homeless will have to wait until sometime in the distant future when all of the veterans have been taken care of.
Even Hawaii has a problem with destitute people sleeping on the streets, or on the beaches. Does a warm beach sound inviting? Try getting up in the morning with a pound of sand to remove from your body, and your clothes. Sounds better than concrete, anyways. Has anyone, anywhere thought of a solution to this global predicament? Every Sunday morning on CNN, there is a show called Global Public Square, which is moderated by Fareed Zakaria. He gave information today on a program in Utah that has been in place for several years now, and seems to be working well. The first thing they do is give the homeless people homes. What a radical idea! They try and find places for everyone, which are run by caseworkers. When the street people have a place to stay that has an address, a phone number and possibly a computer or two to use, then it is possible for them to go out and find at least part-time employment. It was probably difficult at first, but seems to run well in Utah. I think they use houses that were foreclosed, and other buildings no longer in use.
Could something similar be done in San Diego, or in other locations? Where there is a will, and funding, and dozens of sites, and perhaps special zoning regulations, then there would be a way.
Salt Lake City has found a solution that may be less than perfect, but could suggest a path for San Diego to follow.
Deuel Woodward, Chula Vista
ONE-STOP HOUSING STOP
First of all, I want to thank and commend CityBeat for encouraging an open dialogue in editorials and letters regarding homeless issues in San Diego.
Secondly, I have to agree with [letter writer] John Kitchen’s assessment of Michael McConnell’s “by-name” list from your previous issue as a possible solution to homelessness. Kitchen’s critique is politely disagreeable to McConnell’s idea but I’ll go one step further; by keeping a list of homeless individuals that potentially need help the city and county would be creating a list of citizens that are second-class. This is the United States. Regardless of income or social status, people in this country should not be listed like this.
Thirdly, regarding mental health issues of homeless individuals; what scares a paranoid, disenfranchised person more than a real conspiracy involving a government making lists of disposable humans? If we want people who really need meds and counseling fleeing to hide in canyons and unincorporated areas, a list of them shared by city workers and law enforcement is a good place to start!
What I am incredibly curious about is the idea of a permanent one-stop-shop for the homeless where someone put out on the street can go for all of hers or his needs. Why is our city not investing in this? The “by-name” list shared by numerous city, state or even federal agencies would be obsolete if people in need could go to one location for all the help they require.
Nationwide, the solution exists but for whatever reason, San Diego refuses to invest in realistic answers to these problems.
Benny A. McFadden, Downtown San Diego
Replying to the many letters about homelessness in San Diego:
Homelessness will never be ended in San Diego. It will never be ended in California.
People migrate to San Diego and California in part for the ability to live outdoors year round and receive generous public assistance.
Homeless advocates never address the impossibility of housing people with drug or alcohol or mental illness problems. Many of them refuse treatment.
No matter how many low- or no-cost housing units are built, new people will continue to arrive every day.
Low-income people can’t afford higher taxes to house homeless people.
Assuming the money could be found to build 10,000-50,000 lowor no-cost units (which it can’t politically) the following needs to be addressed:
Where are you going to put these units? No residents/business owners want them in their area. So they would need to be far out of the city.
How are you going to get people out of the public assistance units so they don’t forever occupy them? There would need to be a one-year time limit. Or there would need to be more new units built every year forever.
How do you keep people from moving to San Diego, or staying in San Diego for the low-cost/free apartment? There would need to be a five-year verified validated residency requirement before any public assistance can be applied for.
How do you prevent people who can afford housing from hiding their money to get cheap or free housing and public welfare benefits? That happens now.
How do you get people with mental problems or drug or alcohol addiction problems into housing without causing more problems? How do you mandate treatment when they don’t want it?
What American city with yearround pleasant weather and generous benefits has been able to successfully address and solve the above issues? How did they do it?
When the advocates can solve those problems and answer those questions with detailed, rational answers there will be fewer homeless.
There will never be no homeless.
James Wasser, San Diego