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Mailbag: As a homeless shelter ‘guest,’ I implore civic leaders not to fall back on stereotypes

Newport shelter exclusion map
This map shows competing interests in homeless shelter siting: the pink is zones where Newport could, in theory, place an emergency shelter, but the dark blue coastal zone triggers scrutiny from the California Coastal Commission and the orange is a buffer zone around schools.
(Courtesy of city of Newport Beach)

Re “Land-use restrictions play into Newport Beach homeless shelter search,” Sept. 8): I am currently a “guest” at the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter and have been here for about four months. I have a master’s degree in counseling, a bachelor’s degree in human development and more, yet my rent went up and I couldn’t make ends meet.

I ended up here. Most of the guests here have drug and alcohol problems. I don’t.

The part of your article I want to address, however, is the focal point of separation by Carden Hall Executive Director Christy Jones Kalthoff in regards to locating the homeless near her school.

“Our children, our most precious upcoming assets, and homeless people are not two constituencies that ought to be in close approximation,” she told the Pilot.


I might have agreed with her until I lived in the shelter. Listening to residents’ life stories, it seems in some cases that their parents, relatives, friends or professionals in the psych field got them into addictions.

Trauma played a part too. Are they any less “precious”? Not in God’s eyes.

I have a lot to say on this subject, but I think as a school counselor and life coach, we should invite some homeless people into schools and have them tell students how they became homeless and the dangers of addictions. There are many here who had jobs and money and lost everything.

Dorothy Caruso


Costa Mesa

Reduce spending before possible recession

I’m not one to cry wolf, but with the possibility of a recession, it’s time to start saving money. With this thought in mind, here’s my surefire list of 10 ways to save $5,000 in the coming year.

1. Instead of going to your local coffee shop three times a week, go twice. This will save you $3.50 a week or $182 a year.

2. If you must go three times a week, then order a small coffee. This will save you $2.25 a week or $117 a year.

3. Buy printer ink online. If you have a home office, this will save $7 each time you need a refill. The savings will be at least $28 a year.

4. Purchase printer paper online. This will save you $8 a ream or at least $16 a year.

5. Buy golf shirts online. This will save you $10 to $15 per shirt. Because I buy four at a time twice a year, I can save between $80 and $120 annually and still look good.

6. When it comes to playing golf, find a 9-hole course nearby. Instead of paying $60 for 18 holes, you can have just as much fun on a short course for $30. If you play once a month, you will save $360 a year.


7. Most cars these days can run on regular unleaded gas, so stop buying premium. By spending $10 less per week, you will save $520 a year.

8. Dining out can be very expensive. Instead of visiting your favorite restaurants three times a week, dine out twice a week. This will save you $50 a week for two, or $2,600 a year.

9. You don’t have to buy day-old bread at the grocery store to save lots of money. Look for the store manager’s special offers of the day. Without sacrificing your taste buds, you should be able to save $100 a month or $1,200 a year.

10. If you still want your daily newspaper delivered to your doorstep, then ask the circulation department for a reduced monthly rate. In order to convince advertisers to buy ads, your paper needs subscribers at any cost. You should be able to save $5 a month or $60 a year.

So there’s my blueprint for saving at least $5,000 a year. Easy, right? Feel free to send me a tip with all your savings.

Denny Freidenrich

Laguna Beach

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