Winter shelters

Something I’ve noticed lately are how different news articles are depending on their source. I don’t just mean the writer’s tone or political slant, I mean the actual information provided in the article. Sadly, I’ve been finding that the Union Tribune gives less information that the North County Times, so when I read something in the UT that interests me I go search for it in the NCT to see if there’s more information. There usually is. Both the UT and NC Times wrote about the decision to open a homeless shelter in Poway (among other regional cities). Depending on who you believe, the Lutheran Church of the Incarnation will either provide 12 beds for an undetermined amount of time (UT) or 20 beds for two weeks during the winter season (NCT). Overall, 100 days of shelter will be provided between the cities of Carlsbad, Poway, Del Mar, Escondido, Solana Beach, and Vista. Encinitas, San Marcos, and Oceanside are still working on their measures to be approved.

You may wonder if it get cold enough in Poway or anywhere in San Diego that a special winter shelter is necessary. True, we don’t get snow or blizzards and our “winter” is pretty mild compared to the rest of the country. However, there are times when it gets cold enough that the ground freezes, hail may fall, and I distinctly remember my water pipes froze at least once last winter. To those of us living inside it’s an inconvenience, but to someone who sleeps outside it could potentially be harmful.

The UT claims that Poway currently has fewer than a dozen homeless people, although I don’t know how they get that “official” count. Do I think we’ll see more now that the shelter will be open? Yes. There’s a reason that saying “if you build it, they will come” is so popular. People flock to where their needs will be met. Downtown San Diego has many shelters and places of assistance (and people walking around, I guess, for handouts) so it makes sense, to a point, that we see the density of homeless in that area. I doubt Poway will grow to have a “homeless problem” like cities do. Also, the Lutheran church is closer to Rancho Bernardo than the heart of Poway. It’s actually surrounded by country clubs and golf courses. I wonder if the homeless program will get free golf lessons?

I do think it’s a good program – these rehabilitation shelters that try and get people on their feet and in a job. I also wonder to what extent some people want a job. I’m not worried too much, though, about Poway becoming dangerous due to drunk homeless people wandering around. I’ve seen people with jobs get drunk and beligerent and be more of a threat. I just hope they don’t start sleeping in my creek.

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