Letters: Community needs to wake up, take action on homeless issue

November 08, 2007 12:00 am

A homeless man was found dead at Elk Creek ("Homeless man found dead at Elk Creek," Oct. 26). This is not the first time someone has been found dead at the wildlife area owned by California Fish and Game. I would like to ask why a state agency is allowing our local homeless population to camp overnight in a day use area in the first place.

I do not see our homeless groups warning people that it is against the state law for people to stay overnight. No, groups like Our Daily Bread (Ministries) leave sleeping bags and other material on the tables at the entrance. In some ways, both the state and our homeless groups are responsible for the deaths at Elk Creek.

Homelessness here in Del Norte County and in Crescent City has grown over the years. It has become a blight on the community. When people cannot visit graves of their loved ones because of the actions of a few homeless men and women drinking in public, who gather at the city's green belt on Cooper Hill, something is wrong. Where is the city police and our DA office at?

Each day, I see more homeless people gathering at the county-owned ball fields drinking their six packs of Coor's beer and then sleeping it off. Then there is our public library. A few homeless use our public library as a place to get out of rain on rainy days. There is one homeless man that I recently saw in the restroom in the library that had maggots in his hair. If I was parent of a child that uses our library, I would be asking questions.

Why is this allowed in the first place? Maggots at our public library. There is a famous Federal case that allows libraries to refuse service to people like this homeless person. Maybe the people on our local library board should review that case. As you can see, I am not a bleeding heart. It is time that bleeding hearts in this community wake up.

Richard Miles

Crescent City