Homeless problems in Merced
Letter to the Editor
While the City of Merced should be vigorously applauded for initiating a county-wide process to develop housing resources for the homeless, along with a caseworker examination regarding what each individual needs to become as fully functional as possible, there remain significant short-term problems that need attention and cannot wait for the one and a half to two years for a more comprehensive program to be put in place.
There are behaviors which are troublesome to most community residents.
Most of the issues would be considered a nuisance, but nonetheless constitute high levels of dissatisfaction among residents.
Some behaviors are beyond a nuisance, and consist of creating a public health problem. An example of this is leaving feces in public places.
The police seem frustrated and powerless to deal with a number of these issues.
I think that if you were to take a poll, the overwhelming response would be that the “homelessness problem” is getting worse.
What can be done?
My suggestion is … first, stop thinking that the problem is insoluble.
Put together a task force composed of people who have a deep understanding of the issues, and knowledge of the pathways to DO SOMETHING. What is happening now is UNACCEPTABLE!!
Saying, “we can’t get there from here” is not an acceptable answer.
If we do not begin to change what is going on in Merced, you do not have to go far to see examples of how the story ends.
This is a high priority. The Mayor has said so in his State of the City presentation, and if you ask citizens, what is the biggest problem to be solved in Merced…their answer in going to be HOMELESSNESS.
As I said in a previous Letter to the Editor … WE PUT A MAN ON THE MOON.
Let’s pay serious attention to fixing our community.