Posts Tagged ‘homelessness’

Shame on Santa Barbara

January 23, 2011
homeless in Santa Barbara

homeless in Santa Barbara

They’ll be sitting with their backs to half the people coming and going on the sidewalk. They’ll have half the potential contacts with the public. It might not be financially beneficial for them. — Marck Aguilar, Santa Barbara redevelopment agency

Santa Barbara in California has a sizeable homeless population. How then do they help them? Follow the example of the Church Urban Fund in the UK, provide seed money to help homeless and others less fortunate than ourselves to improve their self-esteem, empower them. Err, no. $50,000 is to be spent on reorientating park benches in the streets so those who sit there have less opportunity for eye contact with passers by and remove the backs of many of the benches so they are less comfortable to sit on.

This mean-spirited proposal has come out of the Santa Barbara businesses community. This is their Big Idea of how to deal with a homelessness problem, a problem that is to them, not to the people who lack a roof over their head.

Those opposed are not opposed on the grounds that this does nothing to help people who are homeless but because it may ‘flush’ them elsewhere!

Four homeless have already died on the streets of Santa Barbara this year, 32 died on the streets last year.

It does not do to have people on the streets, offending those who wish to go shopping.

The land on which Santa Barbara Zoo lies was donated by a wealthy heiress who when her husband died and having no children, converted her mansion into a home for the homeless during the Great Depression. Homeless people converged on her mansion because they heard that they would be fed and housed. She wanted Santa Barbara to carry on her tradition of helping the homeless. Her name has been wiped from the zoo and from the history of Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara should be renamed Santa Barbaric. The people of Santa Barbaric should hang their heads in shame.

Santa Barbara seeks to turn the tables on the homeless
Tackling poverty together
Homeless at Christmas

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