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The San Diego City Council voted today (March 3) to keep temporary winter homeless shelters open until June 30 at a cost of $1 million. They were scheduled to close March 31, evicting 350 homeless, many of them military veterans.

Now activists will attempt to get the shelters fully funded for a year in the budget that will be considered April 15.

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ImJustABill March 4, 2014 @ 7:26 a.m.

Really in the big picture $1M to provide some very basic housing to homeless isn't much. And I'd much rather subsidize the poor than subsidize the rich. Seems like we should keep something like this open year round.

However, I do question why it costs $1M to keep 2 big tents open for 3 months. Land rents should be pretty cheap for industrial areas. I would assume by now the city would own the tents. So it's just heating, cooling, cleaning, and maintainece, right? How is that $300K/mo?

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Don Bauder March 4, 2014 @ 7:30 a.m.

ImJustABill: You make a good point. I would add another admittedly oversimplified observation: liberals believe in welfare for the needy; conservatives believe in welfare for the rich. Best, Don Bauder

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aardvark March 4, 2014 @ 11:06 a.m.

In my numerous trips to visit a "welfare for the rich" site (Petco Park), I drive by the "welfare for the needy" area, the homeless areas east of the ballpark. The homeless population is definitely not shrinking, but what can be done long-term? I don't deny that homeless isn't an issue, but what can the city do to improve the situation? Every time I drive by there, I just can't imagine what it's like for those people living out there day after day.

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Don Bauder March 4, 2014 @ 12:11 p.m.

aardvark: The roots of the homeless crisis, which is national, go back half a century or more. The nation began closing mental health hospitals and facilities. Where would these people go except on the street? There were other factors as well. The bottom line is that homelessness IS a problem. Best, Don Bauder

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jnojr March 4, 2014 @ 3:38 p.m.

San Diego is an ENORMOUS magnet for homeless. Providing more "services" just makes the deal even sweeter for them. Thousands come from other places, offloading the costs those cities and counties and states should be paying onto us.

It's just like every other "War On Things I Don't Like"… the more we spend, the bigger the problem gets. Pouring taxpayer m obey into a problem like this is NOT the answer. The solution is private charity, not entitlements. Want a place to sleep and something to eat? Fine… but it isn't a "right" that you demand. It's charity that others are CHOOSING to grant you in return for you helping yourself. Get up in the morning, help out, look for work, attend GED or job training programs, be back by curfew, no fighting, no drinking, no drugs. What would be so awful about that?

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Don Bauder March 4, 2014 @ 4:08 p.m.

jnojr: It is true that San Diego is a magnet for homeless because of the weather. Would you rather sleep outside in San Diego or Minneapolis? The argument that providing aid to homeless will only attract more is difficult to gainsay.

However, your advice, "Get up in the morning, help out, look for work, attend GED or job training programs....no fighting, no drinking, no drugs" does not apply to so many homeless who are mentally ill. How many homeless are likely to land a job in this economy? The problem is a very complex one that homespun aphorisms won't solve. Best, Don Bauder

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ImJustABill March 4, 2014 @ 4:38 p.m.

At the very least I think we ought to take care of anyone who became mentally ill in part due to service to the country.

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Don Bauder March 5, 2014 @ 6:55 a.m.

ImJustABill: Absolutely. We MUST take care of our veterans, particularly the ones that suffered mental and neurological injuries in recent wars. The fact that we are not doing so is a national disgrace that doesn't get one-tenth the press attention that it deserves.

At the same time we take care of those who were injured in the unjust and thoroughly unwise Iraq and Afghanistan wars, we should prosecute the two leaders who, by falsifying records, led us into those wars: Cheney and G.W. Bush. Best, Don Bauder

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wth April 21, 2014 @ 11:38 a.m.

**Read the posts with a high level of interest!

Having been furloughed from my employ at approximately the same time I was diagnosed and being treated for prostate cancer, I have found myself in a "downward spiral." Due to lack of funds, I had been staying on a friend's couch until he was forced to move out-of-state due to a rent increase. For the past three (3) weeks, whatever remaining money I had available has been used to stay at SROs and -- as I type this -- I find myself with less than $20.00 remaining to live on.

For the past three weeks I have been in contact with St Vincent Ctr, ECS, Catholic Charities, the "211" people, etc., to no avail in regard to finding a temporary housing solution. The ironic part of this process is that if I had a past or existing metal health issue or chemical dependency problem, there would be housing available to me. My situation is not improving yet I do not want to give up and "go over the cliff," I want to work and contribute! I'm 61 years of age, have my college education (architectural design / community & regional planning), and have two kids in college that I want to set a good parental example for -- that this point it's tough!

Anyway, just thought I'd put this out there!

  • Bill
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