Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
I just want people out there to know that I have given no tents, sleeping bags, tarps, or clothing to our homeless here in Manteca. I can’t say that it did not cross my mind, but while I think that the most pressing problem of the homeless is that they have mental health and drug dependence issues that play the biggest role in their being there, I see enabling activities as simply inadequate.
Kudos to Manteca Police community resource officer Mike Kelly for his efforts though I disagree that they should be kept cold and hungry. Keeping a mentally ill person that way — cold and hungry — does nothing to improve their illness.
Many cities are using different methods to combat homelessness. Salt Lake, UT has one of the most successful and it uses no imperatives to start drug treatment programs before being housed or before getting other services.
Modesto has a program that is having some success, yet they too still have many who camp out along the river and along the stream (Dry Creek) that runs through a park. As mechanization of industrial processes increases we are likely to see more and more unemployed, many of who will end up on the streets. It is a difficult issue to solve and I agree that homeless should not interfere with any businesses whether they are downtown or elsewhere.
“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.” — Mother Teresa