It’s time to take assertive action on homelessness

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IECN File Photo: A homeless encampment at Seccombe Lake Park.

In the spirit of quoting a former U.S. President I say, ‘San Bernardino there you go again.’

Making last minute decisions and scurrying to find solutions is no route to embark on. Time and time again the city’s leaders have proven that they provide no viable solutions to our community’s troubling issues. Once again, San Bernardino has rushed into a solution without thinking about it.

Their vote to loan approximately $880,000 of Housing and Urban Development funds to Inland Empire Housing First-Step Up is the most recent example. Monies, allocated back in 2015, would have been sent back to the federal government on August 31 if it weren’t for the Council’s last ditch effort.

And despite a 46 percent decrease in homelessness in San Bernardino since 2013, and despite Mayor Carey Davis’ assertions that the city is making significant progress to resolve the issue, our electeds have yet to prove to residents that it is willing to take a firm stance. The rhetoric around improving quality of life serves simply as a political tool to garner votes and a public relations stunt to boost public approval.

Meanwhile, displaced individuals continue to suffer on city streets. Frustrated residents suffer too. They carry on the burden of having their livelihoods infringed on.

How can I use the restroom at a local park without seeing feces on the wall or worse? How do you expect me to enjoy my coffee at the downtown Starbucks when I’m constantly being panhandled? Why must San Bernardino’s residents continue to have their children exposed to this atrociousness?

Concerns regarding San Bernardino’s transformation as a “magnet for homelessness” is a valid point: The fact that the city can’t figure out what to do sends a mixed message to the residents and the homeless themselves.

Some Inland leaders are publicly expressing their desire to do more to help. Colton Mayor Richard Delarosa confirmed they’re in the process of developing a comprehensive plan that will deal with people on a “case by case” level. Temecula Mayor Maryann Edwards in the past week has given strong support to an aggressive enforcement plan to crack down on encampments. This I believe is the model San Bernardino needs to follow.

San Bernardino must handle homelessness in a proactive, yet aggressive way. Those individuals enduring hard economic times, coping with mental stress, and other forms of trauma, should be given a lending hand. Those that don’t want the help must be forced out. Enough is enough.

We must not allow the continued desecration of our city. Individuals that choose to deny help have the right to, but should not expect to be given a free pass.

Dealing with an issue of this magnitude requires shrewdness–the ability to make good judgements with ample time and having difficult, yet necessary conversations. By taking an assertive action on homelessness, the city will give residents what they deserve.

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. All of this data could be collected by volunteers which would be easy to round up through the local colleges because I’ve done it I rounded up over 100 of them for last year’s Art Festival then we take the data and we turn it into a platform for a proposal submission letter of intent. And then we utilize the grant funds to address each individual need after we have identified it. And also incorporate them into existing programs that help them with money management Insurance reconciliation and yes housing issues which often times are affected by the previous mentioned obstacles and challenges. Even people who have college education to come into my office and not understood a single word of their insurance policy so it’s not about good bad right or wrong it’s about INTELLECTUAL APPROACHES that don’t originate from emotion.. We need functional SOLUTION minded action to identify what the needs are and then identifying and/or creating and executing the programs to meet those needs and believe me the funders ARE out there. We don’t need to squabble over government money there are many origins of funding from private organizations foundations and public organizations. The city of Rialto utilizes their existing resources and assets and combines them with Grant matching..*sigh .. too complicated to explain here but yes there are many things the city could be doing but they are not. It seems like most people spend most time arguing about the fact that the problems even exist and that is wasting TIME when we should just be noting down in an organized fashion the data and then the data will speak for itself and pay for the needs and that’s how it works and that’s how the house that Jack built was built..
    (❤Apologies for any talk text typos)

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