To the editor: The latest figures show there are 8,000 homeless people in San Francisco, yet residents want to use the California Environmental Quality Act to halt the building of a homeless shelter in their city.
I work next to the Santa Ana River in Orange County, where about 700 homeless people living along a two-mile stretch of the riverbed were relocated by court order only a year ago. The county cleaned up more than 400 tons of debris along the public bicycle trail, including 14,000 hypodermic needles and more than 5,000 pounds of human waste.
Tell me, which is more of an environmental hazard: a shelter for homeless people, or a few hundred homeless people living on the street?
Brian Ong, Riverside
To the editor: Obviously, more than just a few people are fighting the idea of homeless shelters in their neighborhoods. Perhaps several recently closed military bases could host living centers for homeless people.
There, homeless families and individuals could get the food and shelter that they so desperately need. Counseling and help for addiction would be available. Classes for children would be provided. Job training could also be offered so that people are prepared to succeed when they reenter the world.
Teachers, doctors, social workers and other professionals with student loans could work in these facilities to erase their debt. Residents in neighboring cities would have new employment opportunities.
This proposal seems like a win-win all around and would be a valid use of funding to solve the homelessness crisis.
Nancy Rossi, South Pasadena