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Santa Ana and Its Homeless Policy

July 24, 1988

The city of Santa Ana is showing itself as a "veneer" city--a city concerned with superficial appearance but containing no soul. How else to explain its renewed attacks on the homeless; those poor souls whose existence is so meager that they must live in a constant state of utter despair.

What could rend a heart more than to have absolutely nowhere to go when it's cold; nowhere to go when sick and tired? What could be more disheartening to a person's sense of integrity or feeling of being a decent part of humanity than to be so totally unwanted anywhere?

What is the answer? The city fathers of Santa Ana think the answer is obvious--kick them again! And again! Kick them three times hard and maybe they'll cease to be a blight on the streets.

Kick one: Confiscate their few possessions. Never mind that along with their bedrolls might also be necessary ID, medicine, or treasured pictures.

Kick two: Throw them out of the parks or anywhere they can find to sleep or rest.

Kick three: Effectively eliminate the ability of a few noble and charitable souls to offer them food. This last is the latest and most inexcusable act.

Isn't this the city that claims to be the All American City? A truly great city would be one which would not try to hide the festering wound it has, but would recognize it for what it is and attempt to treat it humanely.

MILTON B. ROUSE

San Juan Capistrano

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