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Understanding the unsheltered among us

Original post made on Apr 18, 2019

It's the day before an atmospheric river is supposed to dump over Menlo Park and Steven Hough is on the go.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, April 18, 2019, 8:45 AM

Comments (8)

5 people like this
Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 18, 2019 at 12:00 pm

Well done Kate.

4 people like this
Posted by Jonathan Brown
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2019 at 12:50 pm

Where are the environmentalists on this?
"One challenge is that, due to the presence of sensitive species, the fire district has been prohibited by environmental agencies from clearing the vegetation. It's also very challenging to get people to move out if they are not interested in available services, she added."
Shouldn't those same agencies also prevent destruct of habitat by the homeless (and anyone else) in the first place? Clearing the vegetation and destroying the habitat for sensitive species is not the answer to a problem that deserves a response that respects people's humanity. That doesn't mean letting people live wherever and however they want. It means giving them shelter options and access to all of the services this article so wonderfully describes and then enforcing rules that prevent living in marshes, etc. even if they don't like it. Granting permission to homeless people to break rules is the opposite of treating them with the same respect and dignity as housed people.
It is true that this is a public health and safety problem ("Unsheltered homelessness can also create health and safety risks for the broader community, according to the Bay Area Council's report."). But the first response should stem from a concern for the welfare of the homeless and truly understanding what that means and requires, tough love and all. For now, as Menlo Park Police Commander William Dixon notes, our efforts to date have not done "anything to solve homelessness in Menlo Park." Surely we can do better.

14 people like this
Posted by RanchGal
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Apr 18, 2019 at 1:06 pm

RanchGal is a registered user.

The photo of the obese woman next to Pharmaca is pretty disgraceful . She is clearly very mentally ill and refuses to move those 10 carts that have covers over them loaded full of junk and filth. Half used soda bottles etc. She is a mentally ill packrat. If you leave her like that it will accumulate. She gets NO meds being on the street. I hesitate to call her homeless because she doesn’t want a “home” where as there are many people who are displaced due to high rents that if available they would go into a home and truly are homeless.
There must be stricter laws enforced by our police to get these people off the street PERMANENTLY and into a place that they will receive permanent REAL help with safe housing, counseling and medication.
Rhode Island has an amazing program that has removed 90% of their “homeless “population to get permanent help. Video: “Seattle Is Dying” on YouTube. At the end you will see the program initiated by Rhode Island.
We just tend to look the other way here. This woman has a “please help” sign on one of her 10 carts and when I asked her if I can help her find a shelter she glared at me and gave me an ugly face . All she wants is money.
Law-enforcement is the first step. Otherwise in five years there will be 10 of these sad people on Santa Cruz Ave. Merchants are upset. Just ask the Pharmaca employees what they think .
It’s bad enough with the lack of parking downtown Menlo Park and then you have this situation. There’s even a longtime scammer at Draeger’s with a phony lock box on a table saying he’s collecting money for women and children when clearly it’s for himself. No charity information and when I asked him who do I make my check out to he said himself . It’s a lie and a scam. And yet there he remains with nobody enforcing the laws. You don’t see anything like that at Roberts market in Woodside so that’s where I prefer to shop. I checked with the state attorney generals office regarding scammers on the sidewalk and he said that’s clearly a violation of the law.
Do something to get these people REAL permanent help please!

4 people like this
Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 18, 2019 at 2:42 pm

Wow, what empathy folks.

9 people like this
Posted by RanchGal
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Apr 18, 2019 at 4:05 pm

RanchGal is a registered user.

To “Whatever”
Apathy is what keeps these folks with drug addiction and mental illness in their same sad lives. Giving them money, a shower, some food, but not changing their circumstances is very apathetic and enabling.
To Mr. Whatever I urge you to see the video “Seattle is Dying “ and then tell me that we have no empathy.
Get real help permanently not just a bandaid.
Doing what we are doing now just encourages more to come to our state, I live on the streets and get the free stuff. What a surprise that the “street” population” has tripled. Many of them come from colder climates where we offer them the goodies and they don’t have to comply.

6 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 18, 2019 at 6:57 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

The bottom line is that most of the homeless are mentally ill. When the state closed most of the asylums for these people, they simply pushed them into the street. What needs to happen is the law needs to change and we need to reopen the asylums. These people simply cannot care for themselves. Unfortunately, the way the law is now and the way it is enforced does not allow the state to put these people into situations where they are properly cared for. Until that changes we will continue to have this problem.

7 people like this
Posted by Rob
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Apr 19, 2019 at 3:50 pm

We have many places here in the bay area that enable all these homeless people.

We have the Opportunity Center who gives these people free food, bus passes, free healthcare, shelter programs, etc.

This needs to stop. Thats not helping thats enabling. Enough is enough with all these hand outs.

6 people like this
Posted by Solidarity
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 20, 2019 at 10:19 am

Let's call a spade a spade -- the misery we see on the streets is due to drugs and/or mental illness. Just housing them will not solve the problem. As a liberal, it pains me to see what is going on in four liberal run cities: Seattle, SF, Chicago and LA. It is awful. Also consider the tax rate and how much money is spent on these issues WITHOUT solving them, instead it is steadily getting worse. Spend both directly and indirectly (crime, victims, emergency services) should be used way more constructively.

When will the leadership finally wake up and understand you CANNOT solve this with only Care and Compassion? You need Care, Compassion and Confinement. If people are shooting up heroin in front of kids and act like zombies, clearly it is NOT compassionate to just let them keep doing it.

And we cannot let this be just a local issue -- the state and perhaps federal government needs to step in with larger programs and solve it holistically.

Where is the SOLIDARITY to our fellow citizens who NEED our help?

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