Suggestions on homeless
I’d like to propose a few changes in homeless policies vis a vis the homeless Downtown. First off, I don’t believe that people should be living on the streets in “America’s Finest City.” It’s not only embarrassing, but downright insensitive and inhumane.
I think we could maybe patch a few less potholes around town and put in a few porta-potties there to serve those people living on the streets in squalor, a number that seems to be getting more numerous all the time.
I also believe it is time for local government to include the homeless population in some fashion. I’m not saying create a City Council seat for them; that might never be feasible. But I think you could maybe begin by having someone from the Downtown homeless community elected from among their own to represent their needs and concerns on a council committee or two, or in some other meaningful way.
That area that the homeless congregate in within East Village is also a de facto “neighborhood.” Why don’t we designate it as such, create a zone or something of the like down there where social services could be located, or maybe even where homeless people could be encouraged to camp, where they would be more safe, while providing them with basic human services like porta-potties, water, etc.
I don’t pretend to know what the ultimate answer is to homelessness, how you prevent it or cure it. But I think it might be time to consider attempting to re-absorb these people who’ve fallen through the cracks back into our society; perhaps by “including” them once again in our political system and processes.
Maybe if we treat them like everyone else, as they deserve to be treated, give them a voice and let them participate, they’d begin to feel like they truly “belonged” once again, and start doing what’s necessary to return to being productive members of our society.
—Dave Schwab, South Park, via email
Fifth Avenue closures
[Ref: “Gaslamp’s new no parking zone,” Vol. 17, Issue 9, or online at tinyurl.com/glxs7qp]
It will be interesting to see if this truly decreases traffic, since people will still be picking up and dropping off passengers or still be turning on Fifth Avenue to try to get to other streets with parking, not to mention the vast number of people that may not know that there is no parking on Fifth and look there anyway.
What really needs to happen is closing Fifth altogether on Friday and Saturday nights. They should plan a trial weekend soon to see if that is even more successful!
—Mike Denton, via sandiegodowntownnews.com.