• Ed Romero

    They should not be suing the City of Laguna Beach, they should be suing the Ronald Reagan Estate. It was Ronald Reagan that closed all the facilities that helped these people, not the City of Laguna Beach. Ronald Reagan eliminated all the programs these these people needed. It’s not their fault that they are mentally ill or are handicapped.

    • lagoona

      Kinda late for all that, Ed. Let’s get on with what has been proven to work – supportive housing for homeless people.

  • Roger Butow

    Becky: The limited housing shelter we have now is about 3 miles up Laguna Canyon. The City uses the Canyon as a “dumping ground,” it did the same thing with our day laborer’s site. At one time they hung around 3 convenience stores sprinkled throughout the City, all close to PCH.

    Then the City consolidated them, created a site right the across the road from Ganahl Lumber. Which SOUNDS like a good idea except there’s no signal to control traffic. It’s where the Canyon Road bottlenecks (egress narrows from 2 lanes to one), and many times potential clients pull illegal U-turns, laborers run the gauntlet (cross the road at their own jeopardy and create potential traffic accidents).
    Coming into town, it’s the opposite: One lane opening to 2, so people speed up. A really dumb, dangerous, public nuisance location.
    The present temporary shelter neighborhood is either THE highest or one of the top 3 crime areas in Laguna. Rural, tranquil neighborhoods end up with the overflow camping, urinating and defecating in their yards.
    Neighbors constantly complain, response time can be 20 minutes.
    Instead of sheltering them nearer the central district, near critical support services like the downtown community clinic, bus station, markets, etc., they end up as nomads walking one of THE most dangerous stretches of highway in the OC.
    We just lost one a week or so ago, a father staying there, hit by a driver who wasn’t under the influence of anything.
    Which is another point.: You have mentally ill, erratic behaving nomads, many times high on something, wandering around remote residential neighborhoods. If police, fire and/or paramedics are needed, the response time is a lot—In high season, during commuters hours and just about every weekend its gridlock.
    And contrary to what many believe, these are NOT just a pack of losers sponging off the dole.
    As a Vietnam-era Marine, I’ve researched the subject: A lot of our homeless vagabonds are veterans who just never came home mentally, and never really adjusted to their former civilian life.
    Yellow ribbons and “Thank You For Your Service” are swell, but as recent revelations about the useless wars overseas (like Iraq) and pitiful VA services have shown, we’re disposable goods not just in combat but once we’ve come home.

  • Becky Newman

    It would be helpful to have specific examples of or further explanation of: ”limited emergency shelter – often inaccessible to persons with disabilities” and “often have difficulty accessing the shelter”.

    • lagoona

      I can help here, Becky: If you are homeless, have a disability like schizophrenia and come to the ASL for a night’s shelter to avoid running afoul of the law by sleeping outdoors, and you can’t prove with paperwork that you once lived in Laguna Beach or have a mother, father, sister or brother who live there, you get a number in the lottery system to compete for the 45 “beds” (the euphemistic term the City uses for “foam mats on the floor”). If all 45 “beds” are spoken for, you are SOL and have to hit the road. The city will offer you a bus ticket to Fullerton, which is going to be closed by the time you get there.

      • Becky Newman

        Thank you, Roger and lagoona – this is the sort of information I wanted. Sadly, many services for the poor and homeless have these sorts of specific limitations (food pantries that are open only once or twice a month and serve a certain geographic area are another example) – but it’s helpful to have these kinds of details in order to write letters to the paper, advocate for better services, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

        • lagoona

          Becky, please do write some LTEs – the trolls come out of the woodwork on this topic and make ignorant remarks, knowing little about the nature of homeless ness and long saga of what has gone down in Laguna Beach over the past 10 years. A solution was suggested by the Task Force many years ago, but the city has chosen to ignore it, instead spending far more on police enforcement, ER visits, fire and police emergency calls, jail time, etc. than it would on a multi-unit building where chronically homeless people would be able to live and get help they need, as long as they need it. This sounds expensive but it actually isn’t. It costs about $42,000 a year for a homeless person to remain on the street vs. about $27,000 for housing and services. There is abundant data on this – just Google “homeless housing.” Thanks for caring.