Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
OMG, what is the matter with our Manteca City Council? On one hand they continue to decry the lack of money to do something about anything; and then Tuesday night they vote to not accept the opportunity of receiving State funded money for the specific purpose of providing assistance to the homeless in our community. After a series of very well made presentations by a number of groups that work with the homeless and an audience that was obviously supportive of efforts to assist the homeless, the Council majority voted to not adopt a shelter crisis declaration; the first step to making application for the funds.
The fact that the Mayor and Council continue to dehumanize the homeless and to wish and pray that the homelessness problem in this community will go away is simply wrong. Rather than working with the community and non-profit organizations to assist the homeless, the Council instead funds two police officers and public safety resources to wake up the sleeping homeless at 6 a.m. every day and move them away from Library Park and out-of-sight of downtown during the day. I prefer to use the term “babysit” the homeless, but apparently that upsets city hall.
The State funds could have been used to supplement the local organizations’ efforts and to develop a community oriented resource center for the homeless, where basic human services could have been made available, inclusive of programs available through the County Human Services agency.
This particular action is but one more example of the growing disconnect between a municipal leadership that is decades behind the full service demands and levels of public service desired by a new community. Continuing to operate on the premise of the small farming community of yesteryear is not working in today’s progressive world.