As the middle class continues to shrink, the edge of the cliff for some is a fall into homelessness.
Gary Horton’s recent plea in his column “Public homelessness defiles us all” (The Signal Wednesday) concerning the escalation of homeless in the Santa Clarita Valley recognizes our need to find a “productive response to a very pressing problem.”
First and foremost, our Santa Clarita City Council must acknowledge having a shelter open for less than four months a year is only a Band-Aid. They must assist our local “Bridge to Home” to provide a year-round location for a homeless shelter.
There are many financial resources now available at the federal, state and county levels the city can obtain and utilize.
Secondly, the NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) attitude of some Santa Clarita Valley residents must be reflective, as this is a social problem adversely affecting worthy friends and neighbors.
No one should feel he or she is financially secure, whether you own your business, are a professional in your field, work as a first responder through local government, or are salaried. Your job can be gone tomorrow.
What would you do to survive? Even more pressing if you have children.
Thirdly, focus on those who are already on the precipice like our fixed-income elder seniors. More and more of them are homeless. How do they survive?
Focusing on them first and those who are veterans – this must be obligatory.
Merely building shelter apartments will not be enough. Providing health care services, screening for mental disease, rehabilitating those with drug problems, and retooling through education may have impact.
Simply ignoring this problem will only allow it to fester. We can now “Crown thy good with brotherhood” and help those who are truly in need by acknowledging, recognizing, and finding solutions to our Santa Clarita Valley homeless problem.