Homeless help worthy, but a magnet for trouble
by Eric Jackson, Ocean Beach
Jun 26, 2013 | 2152 views | 3 3 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
An open letter to a neighboring church in Ocean Beach:

I wanted to reach out to you regarding your church’s well-intentioned efforts with the homeless. After driving last week into OB, my home for 40 years, I couldn’t let it go any farther without saying something. I was appalled by the swarm of street people pushing shopping carts and camped out up and down Sunset Cliffs Boulevard.

I realize there is a need, and your intentions are good, but your efforts to feed the homeless have become an “attractive nuisance” and created a blight on the community. Your efforts have had little effect on the homeless but a big affect on our community.

 Since your programs started, the homeless population in Ocean Beach has swelled, and droves of street people and drug addicts are camped out in people’s yards, defecating in the alleys, panhandling and squatting in every doorway and dumpster alcove in the area waiting for the next feeding. It has to stop and some other way or location found to minister to these people.

The word has spread quickly among the homeless all over Southern California and it has gotten out of control. Our little beach town is being trampled and cannot support this onslaught of mentally ill and drug-addicted street people living on our streets. Their presence is driving away tourists and putting an unreasonable burden and hardship on the business owners and residents of Ocean Beach.

I was raised in Ocean Beach and would walk by your church every day as a child on my way to school at OB elementary. I wouldn’t want my children running the gauntlet of street people that are up and down Sunset Cliffs Boulevard today. It just isn’t safe.

It is unfair and inconsiderate to your neighbors for you to continue being an impromptu rescue mission in the heart of our beach community, and I know that I am not alone when I say that this has to stop.

Please consider our position and be a good Christian and a good neighbor to all — not just the homeless.

Comments
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obconcerned
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July 12, 2013
Let's applaud and support Mr. Jackson's position and sentiments. The churches mean well but have created a magnet in our community. These folks obviously need support, counseling and recovery programs. A hand up is often more constructive than ongoing hand outs. Where is the leadership on this issue in OB? Where is Councilman Faulconer? Where are all of the church leaders, the business group leaders and the community associations in addressing the OB homeless issue? Its he Elephant in the proverbial room. Please wake up and lead folks.
Smickafram
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July 01, 2013
Appreciate your comments. You mentioned 'some other way or location.' What are your ideas?
Downtown Citizen
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July 01, 2013
A working group in downtown SD has formed to address the same issues in downtown SD. "Doing It Better Together" led by the Downtown Fellowship (www.sddowntownfellowship.com) is collaborating with the community at large. Its track record is impressive. Check it out.