Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Papa's got a brand new plan

Finally, someone has started to listen.

I read with joy today about the County's effort to develop homeless services in 'gateway' cities such as Pomona and South LA. I have thought for a long time that clumping together the City's and County's homeless services downtown only perpetuates the vicious cycle of homelessness for the folks that we see everyday.

Believe me when I say, I am not of the 'throw the bums out' camp. I love living downtown and I am humbled by the homelessness here. I try to find ways to be thoughtful and kind to the homeless residents who call the neighborhood their home. If you take the chance to get to know some of them, you may be surprised. On Friday night, I was sipping some Pinot at the Banquette and was seranded by not one, but two passersby. One of the two had an amazing voice. The other . . . well, not so much.

With that said, I think it's high time for the City and the County to begin spreading some larger portion of the available services to other 'gateway' areas. I always found it so wrong that while there were so many services in downtown, there were not many opportunties for folks to get decent jobs, and the transit options were rather limited as well. Furthermore, I can only imagine how hard it must be for someone who is fighting an urge when so many others are on the sidewalk partaking in what they once partook.

Cheers to Jan Perry and the beaucrats who seem to be moving along the right path. But this won't be easy. I would expect the "nimbys" of other cities to fight tooth and nail against any intrustion of homeless service into their neighborhoods. They do every time. The residents of the San Fernando Valley city of Sunland have been fighting an effort to bring a women and children's shelter to the unincorporated area of their City. Que le madre! How can you sleep at night and oppose a women and children's shelter. Some people have no compassion.

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