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Letters: homelessness, mental health, solutions

Latest letters and reader comments discuss homelessness in Citrus Heights, along with several ideas for funding and potential solutions.

Being homeless isn’t the problem; illegal activity is
[RE: Guest Opinion: What if your son or daughter became homeless? Nov. 11]   I am a community member trying to protect my daughter from the illegal activity that many of the homeless in our community are committing. My daughter shouldn’t have to see the penis of a man urinating in public, even though he is someone’s son. She shouldn’t have to witness a woman shooting up in the parking lot of a store, even though she is someone’s daughter. As a mother, I am doing this to protect my child from other people’s grown children. If you have to have it explained to you that it’s not the fact that they are homeless that’s the issue, then you are not listening.
-Jennifer Spurr

Mental health needs funding, but lifestyle choices also have consequences
[RE: Guest Opinion: What if your son or daughter became homeless? Nov. 11] 
  I agree with some, but not all of the points outlined in Mr. Warren’s opinion piece regarding homelessness. We clearly do not have enough mental health services available. Foster youth aging out of the system with no support is definitely a problem. These things should be funded and addressed. However, I can tell you where most sons and daughters who are not mentally ill or foster youth would go if they became homeless. They would go home to parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and friends.

Most of us have lived lives that would give us somewhere to go, at least temporarily while we get back on our feet. However, many of the homeless have made choices that have made them unwelcome in the homes of their parents, siblings, extended family and friends. I personally do not feel that the community in general, and children in parks in particular, should bear the burden of the choices made by drug addicts and criminals. If a person’s family and friends, who know their character and behavior, don’t choose to live with them, I would prefer not to live with them in my neighborhood either.
-Rebecca Holt

Homeless, drug addicts make me want to leave Citrus Heights
[RE: Two fires ignite at homeless camp near Citrus Heights homes, Oct. 29]   We moved to Citrus Heights in Spring 2014 and it was an overall nice area. Now it seems like the homeless and druggies and criminals are enclosing our nice city from all sides: Auburn Boulevard, Antelope Road, by Walmart, Jack in the Box, and on and on. It makes me not want to live here anymore.

-Roxanne Gray

Additional comments from Facebook:
Kris H.– Why don’t they use money in their bank account for the City of Citrus Heights and buy a lot and purchase some tiny houses, with some rules attached, and give these poor sons and daughters some place to go? But nobody thinks of positive feedback on the homelessness.

Linda M.– There should not be “residents” in our public parks. Most of them are homeless for a reason. Drugs, alcohol, mental illness and/or the inability or unwillingness to hold down a job… The homeless that became homeless through no fault of their own and are working to get back on their feet instead of just looking for a handout or stealing from the people whose tax dollars pay for these parks… they are the minority.

Joseph P.– Heck, let them have a park, but station police there over every shift. Confront the wrong doers. Enforce the laws, not just whatever seems convenient. Actually get out and do checks. When I was a teen, I couldn’t even walk through a park without cops rolling by talking with all of you. Now it takes 45 minutes to respond to a drive-by shooting.

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