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Letters to the Editor from March 13

Crescent City needs to lead on local homeless problem

Regarding the issue of how Crescent City has dealt with the poor and the homeless situation that does exist within its borders, the so-called city limits: It appears that the city is trying to pretend that there is not a problem.

Consider how the city has dealt with the feeding of the homeless that live in their boundaries. When working with the city, "Our Daily Bread" went through the proper channels, talked to the proper folks and then rented a building only to be shut down. Was the city hoping that Our Daily Bread's money would be gone and that the group would simply fade away? Then Our Daily Bread was told they could search for a place up beyond the "Y" on Northcrest Drive – that is, they could move into the county and not be the city's problem. Does this sound familiar?

Didn't the Community Action Network also experience a similar problem when it tried to open their store downtown? CAN went through the proper channels, talked to the proper people, then not only rented a building, but did a lot of work to do it. Only then were told they couldn't open as they planned. We don't want the poor coming downtown to buy clothing, I believe was the city's response, or something along the lines of 50 percent of your merchandise must be new. Why wasn't CAN told this before they did all their work. Was the city hoping that CAN would run out of money too and the problem of the poor would simply go away or go somewhere else?

What about the woman who wanted to give out sandwiches to the homeless in the park? I believe she was finally threatened with jail to make her stop God's work. Was she given the option of handing out sandwiches beyond the "Y" in the county too?

Wouldn't it be nice if the city tried to do something about this problem instead of pretending that it doesn't exist? It would be nice for the city to lead and have a true solution in place for a problem that is only going to get worse as our population increases. Please remember, according to a federal government report, a good majority of us are only one-and-a-half months away from the street. That is our reserves we have saved in case something happens to our employment.

Given the fact that the homeless live between Rays and the fair grounds and beyond Safeway, it only makes sense that the city would set up or allow to be set up some type of feeding facility for these folks. The people at Living Bread Ministries are willing to do the work. They have a bank of volunteers and a number of church groups behind them to do the Lord's work.

I would like to help these people get set up. If the city fathers cannot look at their problem, as the fairgrounds and Safeway are in the city limits, then perhaps we need new city fathers – ones that have insight and vision to move towards the future and not wallow in the past.

Jim Ramsey

Crescent City


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