Not all druggies and drunks
Mario Tilaro [“Letters,” Oct. 21] seems to believe that all homeless fit into one group, perhaps because those are the only ones he sees. There are many children on the streets with their parents. No room in the shelters. I see them all the time. Is it the child's fault that he's homeless?
There are many homeless I know, that you wouldn't know they were homeless to look at them. They keep clean and well hidden. I was homeless for awhile, and I don't fit the category of a drunk or drug user. Never had use for such things. I went potty in the proper places. Never begged a red cent from anyone. There are many I met just like me.
Here are many reasons I have seen from others or experienced myself: fleeing domestic violence, complications from identity theft, abused teens from dysfunctional homes / absentee parents who just ran away, becoming disabled and unable to maintain work (which is usually a two-year wait for disability). The latter group also represents veterans, who became disabled or developed PTSD while fighting for the right for us to write these letters. Many homeless don't have issues with substances; however, some of these problems could cause a person to start using when they didn't before. But that doesn't make them responsible for the original reason they became homeless.
I, like many others, had no family to help me. But I did my best and eventually got off the streets, because that is not my kind of life, and I couldn't panhandle if my life depended on it. Sure, there are many who enjoy this lifestyle and don't want to change, but it's not fair to lump most into that category, because it is just not deserved. With the economy like it is, there may be an increase in “normal folk” becoming homeless.
Perhaps Mario has family to rely on if he were to become homeless, and if so, that's a great blessing. But not everyone has the resources to pull themselves up. As long as there are problems and humans, there may always be homelessness. Hopefully, all will become educated on homelessness and less ignorant. I challenge Mario to volunteer at a local domestic violence shelter a couple hours a week and see first-hand that they're not all mostly drunks and druggies, and even some that are really do want to change.
Debra Brown,City Heights
Imagine the land-planning
To the San Diego City Council: There's an item [“Calm before the storm”] in the Oct. 28 issue of CityBeat, reporting on Senate Bill 375 that was recently enacted. SB 375 now ties zoning to greenhouse-gas reduction and gives SANDAG the authority for land-planning. SB 375 has changed “Smart Growth” into “Sustainable Communities Projects,” as well as given SANDAG the tools and authority to land-plan the county.
Imagine how SANDAG will land-plan Districts 3, 4 and 8, which have comparatively more transit than others do. Then imagine how SANDAG will land-plan Tierrasanta, Mira Mesa, Sabre Springs and a host of other low-density communities, all in the name of greenhouse-gas reduction. Imagine!
You might read SB 375 to see what will happen to your constituents and to your career, once SANDAG starts planning and the courts start zoning.
We have representatives on SANDAG. The council might consider instructing them about their votes on activities related to SB 375 and its requirements.
Jim Varnadore,City Heights
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