Do the Fresno City Council members believe they are on track to end homelessness in Fresno? Perhaps part of their master plan is to pass another ordinance to make homeless people’s lives more miserable. Yes, if we just make it more difficult for them to make money recycling bottles and cans, all our hopes and dreams will be achieved.
The city has already passed ordinances to stop homeless people from pushing shopping carts. Homeless people are prevented from asking for money from median islands. Another ordinance prevents them from panhandling “aggressively.” Their encampments have been destroyed by the city, and they are chased daily from one godforsaken place to another.
And yet, as anyone driving around this community can tell you, the homeless are everywhere. According to the most recent count, the number of chronically homeless people in Fresno has increased by 48 percent since last year.
If we really want to end homelessness, all we have to do is to provide the homeless with affordable housing and give them the social services needed to improve their lives. That would actually cost taxpayers less than what we are spending today and improve everyone’s quality of life.
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Mike Rhodes, Fresno