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Homeless shelter

Posted: April 1, 2009 1:37 a.m.
Updated: April 1, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Your homeless shelter editorial ("Our View: No end in sight for homeless battle," Opinion, March 22) represents a bit of revisionist history.

During the 10-year battle to finally find a solution, the mayor said in print that he "didn't want them around the nice people of Santa Clarita" and then that he "didn't want them around the good people of Santa Clarita."

Given the number of people in our valley who have lost their homes and jobs this last year and are now homeless, does that make them no longer nice and good?

I attended every council meeting where 200 shelter supporters were out-trumped by a few NIMBYs whose irrational fears and prejudices won as the City Council hid behind them hoping to stonewall until shelter supporters gave up and went away.

It was because of Gil Cedillo's bill that our valley finally developed a plan. His law requiring localities to take care of their own was the impetus for the city getting serious about finding a solution.

Before that bill, City Council did their obligatory show of forming a task force to look for a location so they could come back and say they had tried, but there just was no place in Santa Clarita for a shelter.

The bill gave them the political will (the stick) to find a real solution. Had it not been for that bill we would still be packing City Hall every fall demanding unsuccessfully that the council recognize the poor are deserving of respect.

At least the editor gives recognition to the outstanding job Tim Davis, the Santa Clarita Community Development Corporation board, staff and the more than 2,000 volunteers do every year in making our Emergency Winter Shelter a place that really does help people get on their feet.

For those in Santa Clarita whose homes are near foreclosure and whose credit cards are maxed out, my heart goes with you. For the rest of us, remember: "There but for the grace of God go I."

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