Local agencies are putting forth a fantastic effort at addressing many of the homeless issues affecting our community, but Costa Mesa needs some sort of emergency-shelter system.
Our community friends can receive at least one meal a day from Save Our Selves, Someone Cares Soup Kitchen, the Lighthouse Church and Costa Mesa Church of Christ, to name a few.
The problem I heard after visiting some of these groups is that they don't have emergency housing to offer families, women or men who suddenly lose their jobs, face huge medical problems or become homeless for countless other reasons.
The armories only open when it is freezing or raining, but realistically these people need shelter throughout the winter months, when it is dark and cold by 5 p.m. How are our poor community friends supposed to pull themselves up out of homelessness if they can't get warm enough to sleep at night when sleep is essential to proper brain functioning?
If we are serious about helping our brothers and sisters who are suffering on the streets, we need to address the lack of shelter. The community of Costa Mesa has the opportunity to become a shining example for the rest of California, and the country, by doing something as simple as giving out temporary shelter licenses to service agencies.
The writer previously lived in Costa Mesa for 23 years.
Newport has financial advantage
I don't dispute Mayor Keith Curry's contention that the Newport Beach City Council has been a good steward of the public's funds ["Commentary: Newport is a good steward of public funds," Dec. 6]. Rather, I want to point out that Newport Beach has the tremendous advantage of being a very wealthy city compared with its neighbors.
Fiscal 2011-12 general fund revenues were $156 million, and the population numbered 85,990, according to the city website. Thus, the council had $1,814 available for each resident.
On the other hand, based on the data gleaned from its website, Costa Mesa had general fund revenues in fiscal year 2011-12 of $95.7 million for a population of 110,000 — only $870 per capita, less than half of what Newport Beach had available.
So it's no wonder Newport Beach was able to put aside a lot of money in reserve, compared with its neighbors, which had less money and more needs. So congratulations to Newport Beach on its good fortune, and a merry Christmas to our friends and neighbors.