Handling the homeless

It seemed ridiculous to hold as admirable the fact that “20 families and individuals may stay in their cars in church parking lots.” Have you any idea what it is like to be squashed into a car with children? Where do they go to the bathroom? Where do they wash up and change their clothes. A friend was homeless for a short time, just over a year. Are you aware that most home shelters offer the ability to sleep overnight? They must be out by 7 or 8 a.m. and will be readmitted to another shelter the next night — if they are one of the number that is acceptable. What happens if you have no transportation to another place?

In your article, “Actions speak louder than words in Ventura,” Editorial, July 14, there was no word about shelters in Oxnard, Camarillo and other places in Ventura County. Are there any? Are there even some? Have the city or Ventura County seen to it that job counseling, child care and job training occur so these moms and dads can be trained for jobs and stay at these sites until they can pay for housing? Are you aware that Ventura County has a reputation for having rents that are horribly high? Where are the churches with enormous basements that could divide them up and interview at least the families that need housing until their mom and/or dad can receive the needed training? They could provide one or two volunteers to be present during the night in case there is a problem. There are many other problems that might be cared for if people really care — really put to work what we have read and say we believe. We need not take these people into our homes. Are we aware that there are huge plots of land with homes on them, like the Naval base? Yes, we must petition the government. Our cities employ people who should be able to handle jobs like this.

Those who refuse help should be offered mental health help or help to see that every place isn’t like what they have experienced. Those who are unsafe should be institutionalized for their sakes after they spend some time (more than three days, which the county allows now). Let the City Council really plan more effective ways to handle the homeless — to advertise their finished product around the country so that every city may take care of their homeless, and the fears of homeowners may be abated.

PS: Thank you for the article that began these thoughts. It’s realized that it’s too long to be published. But it’s hoped that the letter may give you ideas for further editorials. Don’t forget, for many people, homelessness is just one paycheck away.

Judy Madaj-Berger

To serve and protect

There is only one way to stop police brutality. The officer who was beating the crap out of the woman on the freeway, the officer who used the chokehold on a man who was on the ground and killed him, the officer who shot and killed the man who was in his car with no weapon in his hand, this all has to stop and there is only one way. You know it and I know it. All of those officers should be doing time, two years minimum sentencing, lose all their benefits; and when they get out of prison, they can never be in law enforcement ever again, “to serve and protect.”

Richard Manning

A challenge to George Christie

Ventura, SFV, Dago and So Cal Motorcycle Club Charters offer you $2,000 to take a three-part polygraph test regarding your upcoming book, Exile on Front Street, and the Outlaw Chronicles television show. You were dishonorably kicked out of the motorcycle club, yet you continue to profit by using the club’s name and logo in the media. While a few in the general public may believe you, we were there and know the truth. We will prove that multiple claims in your show and book are lies! Contact takethetestgeorge@gmail.com.

William Gunner Wolf