Mailbag: 'Reagan' could use stable housing

Re "Homeless Hide in Plain Sight," Hansen, Jan. 17.

I wish to commend columnist David Hansen on the enterprise and skill with which he wrote about "Reagan," the homeless man who has been living in an outdoor space between two Laguna restaurants.

Bo Calabrese and his family are wonderfully kind for reaching out to Reagan and bringing him food, clothes, dental supplies and money.

Although I don't know the particulars about this man, Reagan is precisely the sort of homeless person who might benefit from permanent supportive housing.

The concept is simple. Give homeless people with severe physical and/or mental disabilities safe and stable housing first, and they are more likely to access services that will help them rebuild their lives. And at the very least, they will be given the opportunity to regain their dignity.

Here in Laguna, the ASL (Alternative Sleeping Location) in the canyon is better than nothing, but we can do much better for the homeless people who need help long-term. Permanent supportive housing is an innovative, feasible, well-thought-out solution proving to make economic sense for many communities nationwide.

The city of Laguna Beach would be well served to consider this approach so that people like Reagan won't have to hide in plain sight among us.

Barbara McMurray

Laguna Beach


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