Complex issue with even more complex “solutions”. I’ve worked with, and had the opportunity to speak to many homeless through my dental outreach work that started when I was in school in Downtown San Francisco, where we had a very diverse homeless population. Drugs, mental illness, homeless that are minors, homeless with minors, homeless that are just down on their luck, and most who check a few of these boxes.
All that said, from the varying levels of compassion that one might show, the overwhelming area where most citizens agree is that they would like to see the amount of homeless in our City to decrease. It is the perception, probably a fairly accurate perception, that there is an inherent safety concern with this particular population.
Do homeless camp on the beach? Yes they do, I have seen the camps being broken down before dawn walking my dog. As your next city councilor and simply as a lover of our beach, I feel it is my job to see that nobody ever has to suffer a needle stick or an attack on our beach because we refuse to enforce this law. I feel it is my job to be compassionate, helpful, and available to our homeless population. I want to see them get to where they can get the help they need, and that location is most certainly not the streets of Manhattan Beach, nor any other city.
Those that break our laws, again, should be arrested and prosecuted. Those who disturb the peace by offering alcohol to minors or by exposing themselves should be treated as criminals. Manhattan Beach should again be a very uncomfortable table place to break the law, no matter who you are.
I want to see that number of homeless on our streets go down, plain and simple, and while I absolutely intended to work with the County, our newly appointed Homeless officials and liaison officers, to see that this is achieved in a way that we can all feel good about