This is part of the broader rubric “Redistribution of Wealth.” Briefly, that we, the 99%, agree, tax the rich, heavily, like the Scandinavians have done for decades, with great success.
In the meantime, we do what we can locally with allocated funds and goodwill available. And we do a lot. Santa Cruz has long been motivated to go above and beyond in attempt and practice to ease the burden on the least economically fortunate among us. The Homeless Services Center, and many other programs and resources partially or fully supported by the County, exhibit local application of values with great honor for our community.
A useful way to examine epidemic Homelessness in Santa Cruz County is to divide it in threes:
For one third of the homeless it’s a lifestyle choice. Is Santa Cruz a magnet? Of course. I don’t believe we can fully rub this out, nor should we. I know homeless folks who’ve been around here since the ’80s. They live clean, behave well and are very respectful of the community and the environment in which they share. They know how to do it stealth, and don’t get cited for indiscretion. The belligerent ones that express contempt for Santa Cruz by their rude actions, piles of litter and criminality need to be called out and condemned vociferously – take personal accountability or no handouts.
One third are mentally ill. It is an absolute shame, contrary to the common good, a scandal, that a nation as wealthy as the United States of America would allow mentally ill wandering the streets to become a ubiquitous feature of our society. It is a question of priorities. Again, in the meantime, let’s do what we can locally with allocated funds and goodwill available, and let’s focus as best we can on outreach to this group, who cannot be held to personal accountability.
One third have no safety net. No backup, nothing to fall back on. To these let’s extend open arms, as best we can, to get them re-established, re-housed and back to work. There is dignity in all work, from working in the fields to working in a Jack in the Box. To call available forms of employment “Corporate” or “Fascist” and therefore beneath one is an elitist lie. Life is unfair and imperfect. There is honor in self-sufficiency, and respect for the effort.
Contact me at 831-466-0500 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vote Bob for Supe June 3!
Honesty • Integrity • Enthusiasm