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“Where, in fact, is a legitimate location for us?” asked Kate McClellan as she appeared before the city council on Tuesday, October 12. McClellan is a middle-aged homeless woman that previously sought shelter in the San Diego Main Library, located on E street. She said she once had to spend a night out in the rain after being told to leave the library...because she didn’t know where to go.

“In the past two weeks, I’ve been asked along with everyone else to leave [the library] and not come back,” said McClellan, who sought an answer from the City as to where she could live. McClellan said that she and other homeless people would go wherever the City Council suggests.

According to McClellan, police officers get “catty” with homeless people; they threaten them with arrest and $250 illegal-lodging tickets.

“If I had $250, I would be in Motel 6, not at the library,” said McClellan. “I want to cooperate with the City. If you are just clear with me and tell me what the hours are, the legitimate [alternative shelter] locations until the [winter homeless] tent opens...that’s what I’m requesting.”

Stock photo

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a2zresource Oct. 16, 2010 @ 6 a.m.

RE "To be honest, other people, even the city council, don't owe Ms. McClellan a place to live. She needs to figure her own problems out and stay out of the library. It's a place to read, not a homeless shelter.":

I am assuming that she is waiting for the City Council to provide Greyhound fare to Los Angeles as a gratuity.

I happen to be a past-middle-aged man who has kept his relations with numerous local family members peaceful and productive... meaning that I am always ready to watch kids at a moment's notice. I have no real estate, no car, no personal assets to speak of other than old textbooks because they're useful for tutoring purposes (gotta raise bus fare somehow), but I never worry about being homeless. Even if I were homeless (a real possibility), I am clueful enough to know that since I am not a developer or other major campaign contributor, any appearance of mine before the City Council on homelessness issues would be laughed off by most of them as a useless publicity stunt. That's not my venue for that kind of whine.

As a disabled veteran who COULD be homeless, I always keep an entrenching tool handy. I figure I could build me a hillside bunker somewhere secluded in Balboa Park without anybody finding me for a decent interval... apparently, I got at least one useful life-skill out of my time in the infantry.

Oh... having worked a shelver at the County Law Library in the Justice Complex downtown, I do have stories about the odorous homeless persons with alternative views on reality who could never be permanently ousted because even the delusional homeless are allowed access to the law and legal library resources at a federal depository. On the other hand, watching an entire library floor evacuate because one person decided to take his wet shoes off and let his feet air out while napping was... memorable.

If the lady wishes for the rest of us to tell her where to go, then my suggestion would be as above: Los Angeles. There is no compelling reason for her to stay here except her own choice. It's either that or start forming a line at the former WTC building downtown to await its opening as a homeless shelter sometime in the future...

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a2zresource Oct. 17, 2010 @ 7:01 a.m.

I've seen the homeless transformation of the main Serra system library in downtown San Diego. I rarely venture there anymore, so I can't say what happens in there now.

On the other hand, the homeless with alternative views on reality at the County Law Library were generally able to have enough legal research materials out to make it appear that they were properly using library resources. On the computers, there would be much typing of semi-legalistic rants to be mailed to one public official or another. Some would take to leaving detailed, densely-written cryptic notes in books to be found by others which, in some cases, required us to notify the police or FBI about possible terrorist activity, especially after 9-11. Others would demand special considerations and even "reserved office space" for them to do what they saw as serious legal scholarship for whatever alternative reasons they had in mind. These "researchers" would be amazingly irritated when lawyers or other library patrons needed the books that were being hoarded and used like bricks to wall themselves into corners...

Now, the flashers, the skirt-chasers with female leg fetishes, and the crazies who threatened to bust down any interior glass doors: those were much more easy to get rid of or at least monitor effectively because of their past behavior...

I left my shelver job before the security guards were hired some time after 9-11. When I use the law library now, things are much more under control with the guards now doing at least some of the re-shelving of books left out.

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shizzyfinn Oct. 17, 2010 @ 9:47 a.m.

So easy to tap out little judgments on the keyboard from the safety of wherever you keep your computer. "Take care of yourself!" Tap tap tap.

Meanwhile, it's raining outside, and human beings, many of whom can't take care of themselves, are wet and cold. There but for the grace...

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shmoov_groovzsd Oct. 17, 2010 @ 10:39 a.m.

"So easy to tap out little judgments on the keyboard from the safety of wherever you keep your computer. "Take care of yourself!" Tap tap tap.

Meanwhile, it's raining outside, and human beings, many of whom can't take care of themselves, are wet and cold. There but for the grace..."

I have lived downtown for 10 years and have seen the homeless population grow exponentially year after year. My time volunteering at Mamas Kitchen is about as helpful as I will be to these folks, because these people need and ask. Beggars have as much human right as anyone else to ask for money or what have you. However, there is no reciprocal effect for helping a beggar. Kind of like criticizing someones opinion and not offering a solution tap tap tap.

GO out and voluteer to help the needy, not free lunches or hand outs. Just walk across the border if you dont feel the City of SD is able to support a vagrants needs.

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shizzyfinn Oct. 17, 2010 @ 2:28 p.m.

"I have lived downtown for 10 years and have seen the homeless population grow exponentially year after year." --It's unfortunate, isn't it?

My time volunteering at Mamas Kitchen is about as helpful as I will be to these folks, because these people need and ask. --Not sure what you mean by "these people" or by "need and ask."

Beggars have as much human right as anyone else to ask for money or what have you. However, there is no reciprocal effect for helping a beggar. --Not sure what you mean by "reciprocal effect." Are you saying the people you help don't help you back?

Kind of like criticizing someones opinion and not offering a solution tap tap tap. --I stand by the criticism in my original email. In my opinion, people who cast scorn on the down-and-out deserve scorn themselves. As for a solution, there are plenty of advocates for the homeless who are doing great work but need more money, and I'm all for giving them more money. If those of us who are making good money kicked in an extra few hundred bucks in taxes, that would probably be enough.

GO out and voluteer to help the needy, not free lunches or hand outs. --Been doing that for awhile.

Just walk across the border if you dont feel the City of SD is able to support a vagrants needs. --Sorry, but "are we doing better than Mexico" isn't a valid standard for judging public programs here in San Diego.

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Founder Oct. 17, 2010 @ 3:39 p.m.

The City is really now in a dilemma that keeps getting tougher to solve!

On one hand, the homeless folks in San Diego should be receiving a place to toilet and also get out of the rain or other frigid weather as a basic right. That said, providing anyone that asks for clothing and year round food, shelter is another step above what most folks would consider basic needs. True, many that are homeless should be receiving some kind of care, but who gets to decide and who will fund those care bills? If the number of homeless increased ten fold or was magically reduced by 1/4 would there be any difference in public out reach?

On the other hand those that are not homeless also have rights. For all those that have jobs or a roof over their heads and daily struggle to pay taxes, they should be able to get through their daily lives without be hassled or threatened by anyone including the homeless, asking for money or camping on their property.

No matter where each of us stands on the above dilemma, I believe that the following now describes "our" City's current situation:

At a time when San Diego is in the worse financial situation in it's history, our Leaders are continually delaying providing basic Services City-wide, while at the same time trying to get "back door" funding to build our new Downtown Billion Dollar Guacamole Bowl, for Wealthy Pro $ports Team Owners...

We, as voters, should demand "more" from our Elected Leaders instead of our Leaders demanding more from us! Since they they are not able do their job, we should demand a Re-Call election, because most of those in Office are not doing the job, we elected them to do! Delay will only make matters worse and increase the divide between those that have and those that have nothing...

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shizzyfinn Oct. 18, 2010 @ 3:32 p.m.

You remind me of Whoppi Goldberg and Joy Behar. --I don't get this because I don't watch crap like The View

Your comments show an intolerance for the intolerant. --Agreed.

There can be two reasons for this: --Life is seldom that simple, though simple people often think it is.

  1. You are as needy as they are; therefore, you think society owes you too --As needy as Whoopi and Joy?

  2. You're ignorant of the real situation, and living in dreamland. When you wait on hundreds of people who are looking for a handout because they don't want to work, you start to realize what many of the "homeless" are about --So what are they about? Why don't you come out and say it? I'll say that, though there may be a tiny portion of needy people who somehow enjoy being needy, the vast majority of needy people would rather be self-sufficient.

Even Phil Spector was mentally ill and managed to make millions of dollars. --wow, I've never before heard the "If Phil Spector can do it, so can you" argument

Why is it liberals like you think all of the benefits should go to people who don't earn them? --that's not at all what I think. All I've said here is I think we can afford to take better care of our homeless (actually, I know we can afford to take better care of our homeless)

Why should my children be in the company of people who stink, and frighten them because they claim to have nowhere else to go? --Which people are you talking about? Your children's parents?

The truth is many have nowhere else to go because their families won't have them. --where did you discover this "truth"? Some sort of survey or study? Or is it actually just an "opinion" (there's a significant difference)

Why should they be our problem? --in my opinion, the well-off have a responsibility to help the needy. Do you disagree?

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a2zresource Oct. 18, 2010 @ 5:32 p.m.

RE "So easy to tap out little judgments on the keyboard from the safety of wherever you keep your computer. 'Take care of yourself!' Tap tap tap.":

A judgment usually involves the pronouncement of punishment or some other curse or condemnation; otherwise, we're merely sharing observations under freedom of speech.

Having slept under freeway bridges before in my lifetime, it seems that many of us over time in the cold and rain were really just judging ourselves.

After all, homelessness is relative to where you are and what you are willing to do about it. As long as I have my entrenching tool from my days in the infantry, I never consider myself without shelter when I'm able to cut it out of a hillside myself, even if everyone else wants to call me homeless. I simply call it "inexpensively getting out of the rain."

Improvise, adapt, overcome... or not. It's a choice. If some see no choice in the matter, then that's their limitation, not mine.

Maybe it's just evolution...

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