The latest news about the three new shelters for people who are homeless has drawn both positive and negative reactions.
The city council this week has okayed the mayor’s call to keep the three bridge shelters that opened around the first of this year open till at least through June of 2019. The council also okayed spending another one-million dollars for new staffing to help people in the shelters find affordable permanent housing.
But not every council member was thrilled with the plan. David Alvarez voted against it saying money should be used to build new permanent housing. Council member Georgette Gomez voted for it but said she’s not in favor of more of what she calls a piecemeal approach to solving the homeless problem.
But others, including the local business owners who came up with the proposal for the three bridge shelters and help from the private sector to do it, see it differently. Restaurant owner Dan Shea saying that when he and Padres managing partner Peter Seidler pushed the idea, they were told not to do anything because it doesn’t help anybody. But he adds, "It helps those people on the street".
A report this summer said that only 12 percent of the people at the homeless shelters are now in permanent housing. The pessimists say that shows it’s not working. The optimists say some is better than none.
This debate over the best plan to help the homeless is a classic case of seeing the glass half full or half empty. Maybe the answer is any and all plans that work to solve the problem.
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