Tearing Down the House (Letters, Dec. 13) and a response to Teri Siciliani (Letters, Dec. 20): Thanks to the Reader for publishing my letter and responses. I admire its features “City Lights”, “Under the Radar”, and the input from Don Bauder and Matt Potter. I agree that the homeless situation is very unfair both to homeowners and the homeless at the same time, as well as to businesses. Why should property owners be forced to allow trespassing on beaches and in canyons, plus be responsible for cleanup? Redevelopment has thousands of costs like this hidden from the public. My article was to give the court-determined cause of homelessness in San Diego as Redevelopment, and not drug addiction, mental illness, and alcoholism. All 3 are caused by homelessness, not homelessness caused by them. I listed mental illness twice, leaving out drug abuse, but that mistake turned out to be useful. Asked for my data on fires, it comes from Reader Neighborhood News a few years back, when a large number of East County fires happened in just a few hours. Obviously that’s arson, so I investigated and wrote an article, but the Reader had already contracted a follow-up article with a different author. The things Siciliana has incorrect have to do with help from HOT (the Homeless Outreach Team); the City addressing its housing issues (it never has); and the future looking bright now that finally there may be solutions (which the City has been saying for 30 years now.) HOT has no housing to give anyone, with 9,000 counted homeless competing for 4,000 shelter beds. City agencies play “Whack-a-Mole” with San Diego’s 35,000 (now 36,000) homeless, the intelligent ones refusing to go thru the process again and again with no help offered to them. It all exits to the sidewalk or even Fox Canyon. “Affordable Housing” is a HUD term for extremely expensive housing that is made to sound like people can afford it.
I do not expect San Diego to be able to fix its homeless problem, and I hope and wish to be proven wrong. For 30 years the theme has been, “Now we finally have the solution!” The Homeless Outreach Team does not help the homeless, it “rotates” them. Homelessness is a rotation that begins when your boss at work files for bankruptcy. Then you can’t find a job that pays enough money to afford rent. From there, you are pulled off the sidewalk, questioned, prodded, made to visit 30 different organizations that have no help for you, ticketed, fined, jailed, sent back to be evaluated for drug abuse and mental illness, jailed again, evaluated by more groups, given no help, and then you exit to the sidewalk, back again. This continues the rest of your life, or until you die, and San Diego homeless, mercifully, do not live very long. When not having downtown toilets nor showers finally causes you to not have the will to live, then you no longer care about survival, and you allow yourself to die. Sick? Why go to a doctor? Rainy? Why take shelter? Traffic? Why get out of its way? There are 30 who die for each one who finds housing, depending upon how you define “homeless” and “housing”. Not your fault, except that it is everybody’s fault. I have a thousand articles on solutions, but no space for that here. I edit the San Diego Homeless News, which the Reader left out of my original letter, and I am considered by the national news media to be a spokesperson for the San Diego homeless. I keep my name out of it, because none of this is about me personally. It is all about solutions, about low-cost things fair to both homeowners and the homeless at the same time.
Hillcrest is dirty
I have lived in Hillcrest for 15 years, and it is a disgusting place to live now (“Hillcrest: gayborhood or ghetto?,” Cover Stories, January 2). I wake up each morning to human shit on my sidewalk and trash dumped onto the hood of my car. Rent has skyrocketed and the City Council had done nothing to make changes. I have written and called both Todd Gloria and Chris Ward about the need to clean up Hillcrest. No action has been taken. People are moving out in droves. I have been a loyal customer of Mo’s Universe for years. I have spent a ton of money at all of their bars. Chris Shaw is living in a dream world if he believes that Hillcrest has been cleaned up and people feel comfortable and safe when they go out. I don’t feel safe walking in my own neighborhood any longer. Millennials do not have the money nor do they go out like previous generations. The bars are suffering. Until the City takes a long hard look at making change all the high rise fancy condos are not going to make any difference in revitalizing a once vibrant and fun community.
On his free trip to Israel (“Israel-bound”, Under the Radar, December 27), Chula Vista councilman will “learn about innovative Israeli approaches to international and domestic issues.” I wonder if it will include information on snipers killing and maiming Palestinians on their side of the Gaza wall.
- George Longstreth
- Mission Hills