Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

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By Ernie Salomon

Upper State Street Motel May Rent All Rooms to Homeless: After Loma Fire Scare, City Council Considering Drastic Action to Clear out Encampments

The four-month plan at the Rose Garden Inn ― expected to cost the city between $1.6 million to $2 million ― would provide emergency lodging, food, transportation, and services for as many as 50 people now living on the streets. |

Why didn't I think of this?  What a great idea and cost effective as well!

If I am more proficient in math than over 50% of our local school children, then this brilliant plan will only cost local taxpayers $40,000 or more, per person for only four months; $10,000 or more, per person, per month!

Is this how the hard earned tax dollars of our local working people should be spent?

I will wager the city council that all expense paid vacations including airfare, hotel and food are available for much less than $10,000 per person, per month.

The cruise industry is trying to recover and I am positive that month long  cruises are available for $10,000 per person, or less.  Why put these people up in a crummy motel when our City Council can provide them with luxury for less?

Have you even thought about asking those homeless who can work, to earn money for their food, shelter and clothing?

This program covers only 50 people out of the hundreds of homeless people we have on our streets.

What happens to the people who are in the motel after four months?  Do they get thrown out onto the streets of Santa Barbara again?

If this plan is put into effect, then every member of the Santa Barbara City Council should be recalled.   I will initiate the recall myself with as much help and money that is needed! 

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Hokey-Pokey Aug 01, 2021 08:54 AM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

1) don'wannas: rapid rehousing and support for people who don't want to be on the street and are working, can work / want to work.
2) ain'gonnas if professional vagrant continue to refuse, run them out. Taxpayers either pay for emergency services, extended regulations and cleaning up the damage, or new rules and services. Legs do less catch and release

It's quite possible to change the law that says a human has a right to be feral and cause everybody a hassle.

Making it harder to be irresponsible would be a great start. Even insisting that the homeless keep their homeless camps cleaned up would be a great start.

I'd also like to scrap yards be unable to buy catalytic converters enlist the owner of the matching vehicle is there with a receipt, and for all bicycles too be registered or considered stolen. The piles of bike parts in these camps is beyond belief.

We don't need to tolerate the trash, the filth, and the theft.

And finally I don't understand why the price for one month of housing and support services is enough to pay for 1 uninsured hospital visit for overdose and detox.

And accounting is needed.

LooseCannon Jul 01, 2021 07:18 PM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

More than a quarter of a billion dollars will be spent on the ridiculous anti-democratic Recall Newsom campaign, bankrolled by right-wing millionaires.

Imagine all the homeless people who could be housed with that money.

What a waste of resources. Thanks GOP.

Byzantium Jul 02, 2021 09:45 AM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

SBObservor: State is not doing well: Top 1% pays 50% of the taxes is a very unstable tax base; K-12 ranks #45 nationwide while consuming an automatic 50% of all state general funds mainly now used to provide free education for foreign nationals; K-12 has given up making students proficient in math or english; 37% in this state live in "poverty" on public benefits, and massive vagrancy has overtaken and destroyed the vitality of far too many previously thriving and safe cities; residential neighborhoods under attack from mandatory increasing housing density statutes. ; state has a one trillion dollar unfunded public pension liability and CalPERS ,responsible for much of this deficit cannot even find a chief investment officer to start bringing discipline and productivity to cure this massive fiscal deficit. Not sure where you get these oft-repeated and canned talking points about the "success' of Silicon Valley billionaires, as if it had anything to do with the rest of this state stuck with its aging infrastructure designed for 20 million but now forced to accommodate 40 million persons. Term limits and the public sector union moving into the political vacuum after the year 2000 set this state on a precipitous downward trajectory. Raid the treasury and hire the close relatives is how you turn a once Golden State into one more third world failed state. The best of times, the worst of times - a tale of two states.

Coolio Jul 02, 2021 09:21 AM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

Their golden calf and his criminal organization are soon to pay the piper.

SantaBarbaraObserver Jul 02, 2021 08:29 AM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

Jak, Arnold came into office via a recall, was re-elected. Hence, the attempts today. Was he an R? Not based on his 2nd term policies and legacy... The others were in the 90's (30 years ago!)and also happened to be in charge during some of the worst economic conditions this state has ever experienced. I am not a D, but the facts and figures do not bode well for R's in CA. Not only was the era of Duke and Wilson awful financially, prop 208 was a turning point for many Latinos. Who since, have taken on power in the state as well as becoming the dominate Demographic. No way an R (post Trump) ever wins another Gov in CA via the normal electoral process. The Party has gone off the rails and the number of uneducated, angry old white men left to cry out in fear while waiving their flags and male enhancers, is shrinking faster than their testosterone levels... I would prefer we had more choices, and that our State spent less on bull***t, but this is the game, this is the process. And frankly, the State is doing excellent right now. Budget surplus, economy is on fire, low unemployment, etc. The FOXnews (I mean Chickenlittle) crowd are just scared old people... Not that diff from Edhat's avg Progressive posting how awful it is downtown. People who are afraid of life and changes tend to be fearful of everything else...

jak Jul 02, 2021 07:52 AM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

S B Observer, if memory serves governors in California have been split about 50/50 between the two parties during my lifetime with no overwhelming trend towards one party or the other in recent decades.

SantaBarbaraObserver Jul 02, 2021 07:42 AM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

The only reason there is a Gov recall is because this process is the ONLY path for the GOP to ever get a chance at the top job in CA. Yes, its a waste of time and money and they dont have a chance to win, but its the only way the whiners, cry-babies, cheaters and plain old suckers that make up the QOP can get their guy, or person, onto the ballot and get the attention they crave. The irony that comes from Caitlyn Jenner getting into and leading this race cannot be topped. Ever. The same people who HATE trans kids, gender fluid people and the old boring homosexuals, are now putting their money and their might behind a straight up crazy version of who they HATE... the metal pretzel they twist themselves into to support this whole thing is pure comedy. Cringe worthy comedy... Sad that so man people are so easily duped. But then again: "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the average American".

ChemicalSuperFreak Jul 01, 2021 07:57 PM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

“Imagine all the homeless people who could be housed with that money.”

Yes, let’s imagine. Based on the SB City Council’s ridiculously wasteful and pointless plan, they’re going to house 50 people for $2 million for 4 months. The money you’re complaining about would get you another 6,250 homeless, for just 4 months. There’s over 161,000 homeless in California, so if you think housing less than 4% of them for that money is making some big difference, so be it. I’d rather invest that money in getting new leadership, hopefully someone who will do what it takes to address this problem once and for all.

LooseCannon Jul 01, 2021 07:39 PM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

If a Gov is charged and found guilty of committing a felony, he should be removed from office and replaced after an election. Otherwise, let him/her serve the remainder of the term. I think Newsom is a twerp, but he was duly elected, and I am appalled that just holding the retail election is going to cost $276 million dollars, money that could be more productively spent housing the homeless and taking care of the mentally ill.

OGSB Jul 01, 2021 07:36 PM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

@Loose. I agree it's a huge waste of money! It's an unfortunate consequence of how we vote. You need to stop watching the commercials and look at what our governor has done... Unfortunately, most people here don't bother to pay attention. It's not some attack against democracy or a bunch of trumpers. It's the few rational thinking people that are saying F*** No!

Roger Jul 01, 2021 08:48 AM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

I'm starting to think it would be best to kick all the tourists out move all the Homeless in not just the Motels though, the Hilton, the Biltmore all of them What can go wrong?

Stray Jun 30, 2021 06:49 PM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

If this were a simple problem, we would have solved it a long time ago. Homelessness is a multi-faceted, complex problem.

The homeless range from those that are the out and out crazies (similar to those who were dropped into society when Gov. Reagan shut down California's mental institutions) to those who in a few months suffered a divorce/lost their job/couldn't make rent, to all those others in between.

Sorry to tell you folks, the homeless problem is solved one person at a time, one individualized plan per person. That costs time and money and expertise. However, the richest country in the world should be able to handle that task, yes? But no.......here we're still looking for one- size- fits- all- homeless solutions. And that, my friends, is the problem......

Byzantium Aug 01, 2021 09:25 AM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

ACLU forced Reagan's hand to "sign" the closure of state care institutions over 40 years ago. How many times do we have to repeat this. What is now entirely missing is the many decades that passed and the last two decades of Democrat super-majorities in our state offices that have not lifted a finger to undo that ACLU court mandate from way back in the Reagan era. That means years of Hannah-Beth Jackson, Monique Limon, Das Williams and now Michael Bennett who have done nothing, and in fact supported policies and attitudes that made the vagrant mess in this state grow to intolerable and destructive numbers. Continuing to cast blame "Reagan" is offensive and shows you really have no interest solving this issue at all - Are you part of Homeless Inc?

letmego Jul 02, 2021 09:29 AM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

Well said. A lot of people seem to hate the homeless, but it's never clear who they mean.
- The person who has a job but can't afford rent, and is couch surfing?
- The family temporarily living in their minivan because they are in between jobs?
- The mentally ill?
- The drifters who like the weather and like living outdoors?
- The drug addicts?
- The disabled who permanently live in their vehicles?

I think there has GOT to be a cheaper way to house these folks (to prevent wildfires) for the dry season, but this is certainly cheaper than burning the whole damn city down.

OGSB Jul 01, 2021 07:09 PM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

And besides Arnold, all dem governors since. overwhelmingly dem in all other offices. So the question is, why haven't you fixed it yet? I mean it's been decades! You have all control to do whatever you want... This comes from a family with a child with mental illness and has been denied a placement during crisis. I do fully support more beds, more support. Just don't be so ignorant to make it a political statement against the right. It's a statement about how horrible a one party state can be.

Stray Jul 01, 2021 06:58 PM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

Here's a little history lesson for you, Byzantium. Read it and weep.

1967 Ronald Reagan is elected governor of California. At this point, the number of patients in state hospitals had fallen to 22,000, and the Reagan administration uses the decline as a reason to make cuts to the Department of Mental Hygiene. They cut 2,600 jobs and 10 percent of the budget despite reports showing that hospitals were already below recommended staffing levels.

1967 Reagan signs the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act and ends the practice of institutionalizing patients against their will, or for indefinite amounts of time. This law is regarded by some as a “patient’s bill of rights”. Sadly, the care outside state hospitals was inadequate. The year after the law goes into effect, a study shows the number of mentally ill people entering San Mateo's criminal justice system doubles.

1969 Reagan reverses earlier budget cuts. He increases spending on the Department of Mental Hygiene by a record $28 million.

1973 The number of patients in California State mental hospitals falls to 7,000.

1981 President Reagan repeals Carter’s legislation with the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. This pushes the responsibility of mentally ill patients back to the states. The legislation creates block grants for the states, but federal spending on mental illness declines.

Reagan was not the sole factor in the reduction of bed space for mentally ill patients. But he was a major factor as Governor in California and as President. Another factoid,
I voted for him insuring his second term as President.

Byzantium Jun 30, 2021 10:40 PM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

9:02 You got too close to your job and it is no longer working for you. Anyone tossing up the barriers you just stated has no interest in fixing this at all. Read up on Operation Roomkey in LA and accept this is what has happened to every other group who has already tried to "help" one person at a time. They turned on every single group that tried. So they all quickly gave up. Welcome sign is no longer lit in this town, and that will be the best thing that ever happened to this population of "will not" grifters. Park your mental cases in Monique Limon and Salud Carbajal's office waiting rooms. because this population falls on their laps; not ours. They get the changes in the law. Or else they now provide sheller in their own office spaces.

Byzantium Jun 30, 2021 10:33 PM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

Stray: We are not committed to "fix" people, one person at a time at huge public cost. First error. We simply want them off the streets so they stop causing harm to themselves and serious damage to the rest of us. Isolation of this population is step one. So zero tolerance for any squatting camps is step one. Treatment programs in groups that have a demonstrate success track record like Rescue Mission or Salvation Army. is number two, but only after we actually agree to undertake this as a public expense, which we have not. It remains however a very viable charitable option and plenty do donate to support their work. This leaves some form of isolation and confinement as the only other publically funded option. You blew your cover when you claimed "Reagan" closed down state care institutions. That is a lie, and we have gone over that lie endless times here. Debunked 100%. That lie leads to the assumption you are just one more cog in the huge Homeless Inc cash grab - because you lied to manipulate an outcome favorable only to yourself. We have have gone around this issue so many times, we can now smell out the grifters and those hoping to cash in on this issue for themselves. With their tag team follow up cronies cheering this nonsense on. No more status quo. New city council and new rules. And "fixing" this population one person at a time at huge public expense is not one of them.

a-1625112167 Jun 30, 2021 09:02 PM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

You're 100% correct, it's a one-person-at-a-time unique solution slog. There is no one-size-fits-all manufacturing paradigm we can deploy here. Stop trying that. These are human beings. They all got here via a million different paths. Three things we don't talk about that are exacerbating the problem: 1. The huge meth addiction problem moving around disguised as a housing shortage. That addiction is a powerfully hungry market that is getting people beheaded in Mexico, and sending people rushing to our border to evade the danger. 2. The rush to maximize the $$$ per Sq Ft on every piece of property is driving rents way high, and pricing bottom-tier renters out. Where do they go? Some move out of the area, commute back in. Some go to their cars or tents, hoping conditions will change. These people are economic refugees. Attitudes like 'move where it's affordable' aren't helpful when investors take over formerly mom-and-pop rentals, jack the rent, and evict everyone. When your new bottom tier renters, who were middle class minutes ago, are now facing rents at $3,000 a month, you're making more homeless. 3. HUGE issue: people experiencing severe mental illness have the right to refuse treatment and remain homeless as long as they wish. Federal courts have set that precedent, and no city or jurisdiction has the power to overcome these rulings. So people need to stop saying, 'enforce the law. Move them on. Round them up. Etc.' The best thing you can do is get as many people indoors as you can, and it's a slog. Once you do that, you'll be left with the truly intractable cases where addiction and/or mental illness is the culprit, about 10-20% of the original homeless population. You need law changes to fix their cases that require amending the California constitution, and any such amendment could be struck down in a court. That's the reality from Ground Zero for those of us working the frontlines on homelessness. (not from Homeless, Inc. A community volunteer.)

Byzantium Jun 30, 2021 10:35 AM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

Reality Check. How recipients of LA's Project Roomkey showed their appreciation:......"Members of a new group, Unhoused Tenants Against Carceral Housing, have demanded changes to the program, complaining that Project Roomkey participants have been subjected to restrictive curfews, harassment, intrusions on their privacy and punitive rules at sites that they likened to jails. One woman said a friend died by suicide after suffering isolation in a Roomkey hotel.
Former Airtel residents interviewed by The Times had a range of complaints about their experiences, many revolving around their treatment by program staff. Abra Marshall, who complained to a state agency about being groped by a security guard, said she had suffered a miscarriage at the Airtel because of stress and harassment.
Another former Airtel resident, Jennifer Blake, said the staff had neglected to send a nurse to check on her, as promised, after she measured her own blood pressure and found it was spiking........"

ChemicalSuperFreak Jun 30, 2021 02:42 PM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

Substance abuse can cause miscarriages and spikes in blood pressure.

GeneralTree Jun 30, 2021 01:53 PM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

The John Birch Society meeting must have gotten out early today.

Coolio Jun 30, 2021 10:26 AM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

Homelessness is a real crises in CA and elsewhere. It’s not just addicts and the mentally ill in need of shelter but a lot of low income wage earners who simply cannot afford the cost of housing. Either wages need to increase or the government needs to provide subsidies and create a lot more affordable housing. The demand far exceeds the affordable housing inventory. The problem is sure to only get much worse if local, state, and fed govt doesn’t take the necessary steps that have created this societal problem.

Roger Jul 01, 2021 08:45 AM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

I got here in 1980 worked and paid rent many years mostly rooms or small studio apartments, NO ONE TOLD ME TO LEAVE THEN!!! I got hurt on a job ended up disabled. Now after giving of myself you want to KICK ME OUT! If I should end up homeless I'm going to rent a porta potty put wheels on it and a motor find your yard and set up camp....Demands were put on me at work HERE and it disabled me. What is good for the goose is good for the gander Baby!

a-1625087220 Jun 30, 2021 02:07 PM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

California is very e pensive to live and do is Santa Barbara . Why should everyone who can’t afford to live here be subsidized. That’s ridiculous. So because you have an 8th grade education and are working at some crappy place for minimum wage , we should subsidize you so you can live in Santa Barbara comfortably . That’s insane .

GeneralTree Jun 30, 2021 01:35 PM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

Don't expect to be working class serving the community of Santa Barbara either. Workers should live in Lompoc right? Until that gets gentrified next?

Byzantium Jun 30, 2021 10:37 AM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

Those looking need to upscale their skill sets or downscale their housing expectations. Plenty of places to live in this state that one can even afford on an SSI check. Santa Barbara is not one of them. Don't come here and make demands we are supposed to house you, feed, you and pay for non-marketable job skills.

Byzantium Jun 30, 2021 09:45 AM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

Your city council again lied to you. City admits the motel rooms only cost a hundred dollars a day, the rest of this money down a rat hole per person goes directly into the hands of Homeless Inc. They call this "wrap around" services; which in fact is full employment for Homeless Inc, who have no intention of giving up this well-paying job with no accountability for results or out comes when the four months cash flow is over. This city council just threw away over $1.6 million dollars on one more reckless, virtue-signaling bandaid that does nothing to stop the inflow of even more vagrants to take over the newly empty squatter camps the city allowed to fester and materially harm the rest of us. Zero tolerance for any squatter camps. There is no other option. And get state Senator Monique Limon into a one on one session, until she provides the solution at a state level. The city has no business getting into this city funded Homeless Inc shakedown extortion racket. Entirely new city council and mayor coming up - Nov 2021.

Eggs Ackley Jun 30, 2021 02:04 PM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

We could clear out every transient camp in the city for 1.6million. Could probably do it for a lot less as there are salaried staff getting paid to do it already. Just a lack of political will standing in the way.

GeneralTree Jun 30, 2021 01:36 PM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

1.6 Million - that's probably a lot less compared to one of the 50 homeless burning down the Mesa i'd think.

a-1625074181 Jun 30, 2021 10:29 AM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

"Entirely new city council and mayor coming up - Nov 2021." We can only hope. It will not happen unless voters with common sense get out and vote. But if it is more of the usual Democrat Committee, Police, Fire and SEIU union choices we'll be stuck with more of the same.

Lucky 777 Jun 30, 2021 09:44 AM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

I completely agree with the "Mad Max camp" philosophy, and have proposed in the past that we set up a 7-11 and a do-gooder distribution facility at El Capitan State Beach Park. Move the vagrants in, and let it rip. But the REAL question is "Why are they above the law?" Because this is California. If they commit a crime, incarcerate them! Every one of those trashed bicycles, lawn chairs, tables etc filling the "encampments" has been stolen from a hard-working citizen's yard or home, so stop funding the lifestyle that preys on us all and is ruining our city.

Byzantium Jun 30, 2021 09:32 AM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

Conservatives came out of now where and swept out four city council persons in one election a few years ago ....because of one too many wasted money sidewalk bulb-outs. This action is also a bridge too far. There will be a new city council and mayor this November and not a moment too soon.

ChemicalSuperFreak Jun 30, 2021 02:56 PM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

From the plurality of comments expressing frustration at the homeless crisis and the egregious waste of taxpayer funds, it really seems like voters have had enough and will be considering how they vote in the coming elections. The current approach of coddling lazy and ungrateful bums is going to be met with a loud voice demanding accountability: Use the existing resources to improve your life, move along, or face involuntary institution so that you are no longer a threat to hard working tax payers.

Move along to where my critics may ask? Slab City and other places just like it. I actually visited that place to check out East Jesus and Salvation Mountain. You can opt out of society there and no one will bother you. There are places like that in Alaska and other states too.

a-1625069542 Jun 30, 2021 09:12 AM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

I have several problems with this:
1. It is very expensive (taxpayer dollars) for what we will be getting.
2. It is a short-term "fix." What happens to these individuals at the end of the four months? More taxpayer dollars or back into the bushes?
3. It assumes that all of these individuals are basically dealing with the same cause for their "homelessness." There seems to be no consideration for the various types involved - some with mental issues, some with loss of job issues, some who just want to be an urban traveller, etc.

Byzantium Jun 30, 2021 10:51 AM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

The one's chosen are supposed to be the ones actually setting our city on fire - and in four months they are going to be transformed into productive, repentant upstanding individuals. For a reality check, see how well LA's Project Roomkey did - recipients now suing the city because they are not doing enough. Expect the same here, when the four month period is over. Wails, cries and more extortion threats on command. And that will be coming just from Homeless Inc. The recipient's lawsuits will come soon afterwards. The city has no business running anything like this - this is a state and federal care institution mission and Monique Limon (D) and Salud Carbajal (D) have failed us as badly as our current city council. If there is one place to squat in this town for free, it is in the offices of state Senator Monque Limon (D) and Congressional Rep Salud Carbajal (D) and it is well past time for the city to send them there directly. City can pass a resolution that states it will not be the sole provider of last resort for this increasing vagrancy population, and henceforth all efforts to house the vagrant population falls exclusively on the state and federal government, though their elected representatives - Limon , Bennett and Carbajal. City Attorney Ariel Calone - make it legal and make it stick, Or hand in your resignation, if you don't want to get fired by the new city council.

Ahchooo Jun 30, 2021 10:03 AM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

I’m hoping that the individuals chosen for this program will be the ones most likely to get long term benefit from the four-month assistance. Some people truly can be helped up and out of their homelessness. I really hope the participants are chosen carefully so that society as a whole gets some bang from our bucks. (It’s not just about the money, but taxpayers do have a right to expect their money to be used in the most efficacious manner.)

blazer Jun 30, 2021 08:57 AM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

If this is a first step toward cleaning up our thoroughfaires maybe it's worth the effort. The poor lady with the giant shopping cart outside of the Museum of Art should not be allowed to leave 100 lbs of unsightly junk on a sidewalk for months at a time. The lady who cooks her lunch on a hotplate in a planter outside of 33 Jewels has piles of junk on the sidewalk everyday should not be allowed to loiter day after day in her mess.
If offering housing is the legal manner of moving the trash hoarders off State street then perhaps we can regain our sidewalks.

AQUAHOLIC Jun 30, 2021 08:30 AM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

Detox Centers, and MORE of them. Mental Health Care and MORE of it.
While we continue to ignore the obvious, "the problem" grows exponentially.

CoastWatch Jun 30, 2021 08:34 PM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

You can't FORCE vagrants to go into rehab... That's why Gov. Reagan was forced to close the mental institutions, the ACLU WAS GOING TO SUE THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA.... The County provides FREE drug and alcohol rehab already... NO one uses it.

fitz Jun 30, 2021 07:53 AM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

Seems like the city is pushing the homeless up into the Samarkand and San Roque. There is a huge homeless encampment near the Las Positas overpass (on the southside in the bushes along the tracks). You can see it full on when on the train coming into SB. That is not mentioned in the 'target' list. So they all get to stay there and start their fires? There already are dozens of homeless living in the bushes and dry streambeds behind the businesses up near this motel (near Chick Fiasco) . So they get to stay and start their fires? Now more will come to be near their friends living in the motel. It happens every time there is an attempt to establish a place with 'rules'. Michael Jordan needs to get off his high horse. What a disappointment he has been.

Greemo Jun 30, 2021 07:21 AM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

Obviously the homelessness problem is extremely complex. I agree with Ernie that spending $10K per person per month for a band-aid solution is a gross waste of taxpayer money. However, as evidenced by many comments here, there is strong support for this by many Santa Barbara voters.

Addressing the homelessness program requires a long-term, ambitious program that addresses its root causes, mental illness and substance addiction among them. True compassion means providing rehabilitation. The real tragedy is that some of those folks have arrived at a point where they don’t want to be housed. And while their civil rights have to be preserved, the rights of the more fortunate who have homes, cars, and businesses desire to live in a clean and safe environment have to be preserved too.

I happen to agree with Ernie that City Hall is inept for many more reasons than this, but not everyone does. That’s why we have elections, and elections only work when everyone is involved and informed.

a-1625030106 Jun 29, 2021 10:15 PM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

Why couldn’t something like a Red Cross shelter be set up in every county district. Enforce existing laws and move people along. Their choice to either go sleep in a cot or keep moving. You cannot sleep in the bushes, you cannot litter, you cannot defecate in public, you can’t set up tents in parks and you can’t have open fires. Also if every church allowed two vehicles a night in their lot so many would be helped. Laws need to be changed. There needs to be a way to get those who are a danger to themselves and others off of the street by force.

a-1625101175 Jun 30, 2021 05:59 PM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

A church near me has opened their parking lot to 'homeless' vehicles a few years ago. It took about a month before one of their patrons offered sex for money to me at the local Starbucks. It still happens. Opening church parking lots only spreads their 'lifestyle' choices to middle class neighborhoods.

ChemicalSuperFreak Jun 29, 2021 07:54 PM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

Take note of all the EdHat commenters that mythologize and romanticize homelessness. They elevate bums to victim status and happily provide them an endless list of excuses (filled with logical fallacies) and eagerly generate lists of items and services bums require to continue their self-destructive behavior---all without consideration for the financial cost or expectation of accountability. The enablers make this concerted effort to defend these criminals despite the record number of documented physical assaults, thefts, fires and the litany of other heinous acts these bums routinely commit. Between these enablers, the officials happy to spend your tax dollars, and the Homeless, Inc. crooks exploiting this crisis for profit---you now know who to blame. In some ways, these people are more responsible for this mess than the bums themselves.

SBTownie Jun 30, 2021 01:59 PM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

Pit I am not suggesting forcing people into lodging but I am suggesting making it incredibly difficult for them to camp or live on public land unless it's BLM and away from cities/towns where people want and need to use parks, sidewalks, libraries, etc. I don't think people should have the right to camp in parks or on sidewalks. These are public places that belong to all and by squatting on it you are taking it out of the hands of the general public and prohibiting both necessary use and enjoyment. The courts said you can evict people from camping on public land if you can offer them "reasonable alternative accommodation." I am not saying we force people into the accommodation. I am saying beggars cannot be choosers. If it is made undesirable and difficult to camp on public land that should be able to be used freely by all, then people will either accept to vacate the cities and go into BLM wilderness and fend for themselves, or they will accept an offer of housing in a more affordable location than Beverly Hills or Manhattan or Santa Barbara. We should build more housing, but only where it make financial sense to do so.

PitMix Jun 30, 2021 11:29 AM
Op Ed: Madness at City Hall

SBT, I believe this is called incarceration. Luckily we still have a constitution and I doubt even the most rightist justices on the Supreme Court could find some original intent to forcing people to live somewhere if they haven't committed a crime.....


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