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Last login: Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Maureen,I was disappointed you did not take more calls during your conversation about the OB homelessness situation. I think your two guests have failed to understand the issue. You tried to bring them back to it several times but they failed to address it.
Your guests understand the larger issue of homelessness very well, and I agree completely with their positions about the importance of large scale, community supported solutions for chronic homelessness. This is a major nationwide problem, made worse by the recession, and we should all support funding a variety of housing and programs that will help solve the problem.
But I think the current issue in OB is quite different: the locals are objecting primarily to what I would call the "homeless by choice," or as the LA Times quoted a Kevin Faulconer spokesman, the "able-bodied homeless with cell phones and laptops." These are kids who have made a decision to hang out and be unproductive, drink, party, and leech off of the kindness of those who don't know better than to support them. These young men and women are not going to be particularly impacted by the types of solutions to homelessness that we typically think about, because they are not struggling with the issues typical to the chronically homeless.
I believe that is what The Black's sticker is talking about, and yes, with a highly irreverent approach, but I also agree with the one caller you picked up who said there is an aspect of humor intended by the sticker.
People trying to solve this current flare-up in OB need to understand the distinction between the individuals causing the problem in OB right now, and the larger more typical population of homeless people. It's a different problem which will require different solutions, and if the "experts" fail to grant that there is a distinction, the local residents will continue to be frustrated and buy hostile bumper stickers.
July 6, 2010 at 10:26 a.m.
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