Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Vilifying the homeless in Manteca, or anywhere for that fact, will do nothing to solve any of their — or our, problems. I can’t imagine that anyone living on the streets found the lifestyle so appealing that they chose it for their lifestyle. They are there for a variety of reasons.
When Reagan turned many of the mentally ill out on to the streets as governor of California and as president in 1980 when he refused to continue funding community mental health centers it contributed significantly to the homeless population. I invite readers to go to http://www.povertyinsights.org/2013/10/14/did-reagans-crazy-mental-health-policies-cause-todays-homelessness/ for information on the effects of those policies.
It is not illegal to be homeless. The Manteca Police are doing something to help some of those living on the streets. Apparently it is not as effective as some of us would like it to be. Never the less, it is better than doing nothing but groaning and moaning about the situation. Homelessness in America is an ugly reality that we haven’t really come to terms with and do not seem to be serious about doing so in the near future. It is not a pretty sight and a lot of people don’t like it though they seem to have little or no insight into the problems that put and keep them there. Problems created by homelessness are not easily lived with by those of us who are bothered by their disconcerting behavior. There are things that can be done to ameliorate those problems. The community needs to come together to discuss what is and is not possible to remedy some of the issues they create. However, there are no simple solutions.
It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness. Oh, and yes, I have met with and talked to the homeless people who spend time at and near the library. They are not the villains they have been portrayed to be.