Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Recently, there have been several front page articles about the “homeless” problem in Manteca. The Police were tasked to chase the homeless out of Library Park because of problems with drugs, alcohol, and intimidation of citizens who want to use the park for recreational daytime use.
Let’s face the facts: Most of these “homeless” people want to be homeless, and they think they are conducting life “under the radar”. Yes, there are some that are truly destitute people who want help. Ok, let’s help those individuals; there are existing organizations for that.
Since the Police effort at Library Park, the homeless have scattered. We have lived in our house for over 25 years, and recently, I have personally made several calls to the Police because individuals are camping out in our neighborhood park; there is drug activity, and now individuals are routinely cruising the neighborhood looking for pop cans, especially on trash pick-up day. What’s next? Cars broken into? Houses broken into?
Mayor Weatherford (on this issue) is dead-on correct. When the subject of building a Men’s homeless shelter was put on the table at a recent Council meeting, he said “If you build it, they will come”. Well done Willie, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Building or establishing such a facility would increase our homeless population exponentially in the City, it would increase crime in Manteca, and would create other problems that we as residents do not want. One of my life lessons from my Father was this: If you set out to solve a problem, make damn sure that your solution doesn’t create new problems. That is something to seriously consider in this case.
The last published article in the paper discussed Ripon’s policy of escorting homeless out of the City, and directing them to Modesto or Stockton. I like that. In a former job, I traveled on 99, and exited on Hatch Road, where there is a homeless shelter. It doesn’t matter if you stop at McDonalds, or Burger King on Hatch, you will get approached by a homeless person begging for money. Guess what…I always told them I wouldn’t give them money, but I would buy them a burger. They always refused the offer. Any money given to these folks goes to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and lastly, food. This is what we would be dealing with on a much larger scale if a homeless shelter is built. We all know what happens when such a thing is established on Federal, State, County, or local funds — we can never get rid of it, or the problems that it introduces.
I urge all Mantecans, and the City Council to flatly turn down any proposal to build or establish any kind of homeless shelter in our town.