We had a little kerfuffle nearby on Saturday. Or maybe it was Friday? Yeah, Friday. Homeless people have taken up sleeping behind the shop again, on my property. The neighboring property owner tossed a bedroll that the homeless guys were furtively storing in our back cabinet (without our permission) over the block wall in back. It is both a safety and liability issue for us to let them take up residence on my back porch and frankly, I don't want it to continue.
Anyway, I was gone but I guess the homeless guy, who is a rather large man, went into two of the neighboring shops with a sleeping bag over his head and threatened them physically after discovering that his stuff had been turned out. Lynn locked herself in the store, Ron had words with the guy, who said he was going to go get a friend to help beat him up. Sheriff was called but as is typical around here, never showed up. Guy never came back but I saw him ranting on the streets this morning, seems pretty psychotic.
Two years ago homeless people were sleeping in a cubby hole on the corner of the property, cops also seem to want to let them have free reign at night, wouldn't do anything when we called, even though the station is a block or two away. Too busy, I guess. Ron finally filled the area in with cement to dissuade the nocturnal practice. Honestly it is getting kind of scary locking up the shop in the evening, you really have to look around in the alley to see who might be where?
Homeless people around here are breaking into buildings, sleeping on roofs, it is getting pretty bad. And it never used to be like this. I have been in town for forty years, we always pretty much knew who was homeless and there were rarely over three or four of them at a time. Caesar, the mute guy with the long coat, you had the bearded walker from Bonsall and maybe one other guy who took up shop in front of the medical building. That was it. Not sure what changed?
A person told me that indigents are actually being shipped up here, from other municipalities, and that word is out that Fallbrook is easy street. Not sure if it is true or not. But I keep an eye on this population and can tell you that they are overwhelmingly white, male and certainly look physically capable of working if they have the inclination. Many of them do appear to be addicts, meth, opiates and alcohol seeming to be the favored substance du jour.
I am a liberal and compassionate human being, I feel for anyone that is down and out but I certainly have my prejudices and feel much more inclined to help a mother with a baby who has lost her job and has no place to go than a person that puts their own head willingly in the noose, especially when many nearby jobs go unfilled. I am for helping people that are hurting through no fault of their own, less so when the problem is entirely self induced and capable of being corrected. Help people that help themselves.
Try to walk the Pico Promenade any day of the week and see what you find. People start getting tanked pretty early in the day down there. Fallbrook must be heaven, fruit falling off the trees, a Food Pantry that serves all comers, cops that look the other way, dogooders in Bentleys with the ear of the County Supervisor, this place is obviously easy pickings.
Of course the homeless explosion isn't helping downtown business people struggling to make a living, but who the hell cares about them?
I heard the other day that there was some information on the Friends of Fallbrook facebook website that may or may not be accurate. Something about half of the proposed County homeless shelter sites being in Fallbrook. Couldn't be true, could it? I decided to look into it. Not quite true but close.
County staff found 15 locations that could be developed. Six are in Spring Valley, two are in Lakeside and seven are in Fallbrook.So it's 46.66 percent. Not 50. We get every potential site in Supervisor Jim Desmond's district? Beautiful. We get to be ground zero for the entire North County homeless population? Lucky us.
"I was a little bit frustrated that we had only had seven sites identified in Fallbrook — I asked for the entire District 5 to be looked at," said Supervisor Jim Desmond.
Ever notice that the unincorporated area of Rancho Santa Fe never gets crapped on like we in the hinterlands do? Of course they don't. Money and politics baby. Ship them up to Fallbrook, no one will say a peep. Stick them in hotels, on the taxpayer nickel. Reward all sorts of crappy behavior.
Desmond says that helping the homeless shows compassion and strength. Fine. How about throwing a little compassion our way too, Jim, to the working folks and property owners who are trying to maintain a tolerable Main Street and support their families while you engage in your ultra enabling social experiment? Shops are shuttering left and right and I guarantee, you are not helping. My wife and I are trying to run separate businesses and pay the mortgage on our commercial building and it is getting harder and harder, especially with people in the street that seem better suited for a mental ward.
But it is easy to know what is going to happen. I have seen it in Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Portland and Seattle. Make it real easy and comfortable for these people to hang out here and live on the cheap and many more will come. Like swallows to Capistrano. Build it and they will come. You can bet on it.