“Finally, in regard to the hygiene stations coming online in LC, I see this as just one element of a larger constellation of efforts (big and small) that the City is trying to leverage to deal with an intensely complicated situation. From larger-scale programming like improving access to affordable housing and attempting to secure metropolitan revitalization funding, to increasing the capacity of the Mano y Mano day labor program, to Project LIGHT, and more: no one initiative will “fix” the problems, but bringing them together feels like a solid strategy.
Adding these facilities is not an attempt to hide an issue. It’s a concrete effort to address a problem the City has been hearing about consistently (i.e., people relieving themselves in public spaces) by providing appropriate places for people to use.”
Thanks for reaching out –
Thank you for responding. I realize my response is lengthy but I hope you will give me the respect by taking the time to read my entire email because as you referenced the subject is chaotic and extremely multi dimensional.
I still feel that an open declaration to the public is necessary so that they have a picture of the direction the Council is heading for accountability purposes. What was bothersome in your response was that you can provide no examples where “A Plan” is working beyond theoretical nor can CA or NYC as I have family in both and follow what they, and I when I visit, see.
As a participant in the Mayors Homeless Task Force I have supplied numerous references that take a broader look at the reality of the situation and understandably the complexity of it but it appears that no one on the council or the mayor is willing to address the publics greatest concern, safety and respect for those that do their best to live by the rules that define a civilized community.
As Chair of the Las Cruces Airport Advisory board from 2011 to 2018, I continually pushed the necessity of meaningful economic development so that LC did not further decline into the disrepair we find today. When the headlines over the past years can be nothing better than 3 Chick-fil-As, and as of late another tattoo shop, the only thing low income housing does is provide housing for those that can see no opportunities beyond minimum wage jobs with inflationary minimum wage bumps. No way out. That brings me to Las Cruces Public Education which is another crisis that feeds your dilemma that I also address and that you should be concerned about.
I understand you are caught between a rock and a hard place but that is the job you asked to be elected to. The #1 concern I found after door knocking over 6,000 Las Cruces doors during the last election cycle was serious concern over crime and drugs. People can become numb and walk on by the homeless but when it comes to whether they or their family or property is safe they demand city led accountability. Please go walk the side streets of San Diego and tell me what you find following their Mayors claim that they outlawed street camping and have provided better housing opportunities.
On Seattle’s privies this is an older article but the ones following it highlight the disaster that has followed and also offers a partial solution regarding drugs, mental health and crime that Providence RI has implemented as has Miami/Dade in the other link. I found the GIS privy map link for Seattle you sent of interest because of the concentration of facilities in the Ballard area which has a population half that of Las Cruces. Walk those streets with your children.
Seattle documentaries by KOMO News. The second may require a verification of age because, as must be admitted, the reality may not be age appropriate for some:
Seattle is Dyinghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpAi70WWBlw&t=2s
The Fight for the Soul of Seattlehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WijoL3Hy_Bw
Latest report out of King County WA:
And I will re-recommend the long term in depth study done by Megan Ravenhill “The Culture of Homelessness”.
To sum this all up, there is no one right answer but we seem to be attempting to put a bandaid on a gaping wound by labeling it “Compassion for the Homeless”, or some other grand politically correct name being assigned to them, even though many actually are at home in their roofless environment having the necessities for their chosen life provided to them at no cost or responsibility (I know, Mano y Mano).
Incarceration for criminals, voluntary or involuntary treatment for addictions while incarcerated and incarceration type mental health hospitals are essential in determining a partial way out of this, not some long stand in line for a roof program that has no basis regarding real needs assessment leaving those it could help waiting in the same line as those it doesn’t. It always goes to those that scream “Victim” the loudest (the professional street person that understands the game) which is never the frightened mom or dad in the background trying to stay afloat with 3 kids that can actually benefit from a short term hand up while at the same time willing to accept personal commitments necessary to receive it. Please interview the director of The Las Cruces Salvation Army instead of the Community of Hope that you fund with taxpayer dollars.
There are many that are not addicts and/or criminals but by removing the negative element of those that are it makes it easier to see and help the ones that truly could stand up again with a little help. Compassion for addicts and criminals has to be initially involuntary incarceration because obviously they are unable to make proper decisions for themselves. Some mental health cases could be outpatient if the facilities were there, but there has to be places for the addicted, severely mentally ill and combinations of both that is not our county jail. Leaving them to sleep and die next to a dumpster or even in some government provided housing is not acceptable nor compassionate. Nothing the Council is proposing is focused on the necessities of that reality beyond “Out of Sight Out Of Mind”.
Rob Wood575-635-0803Mayors Homeless Task ForceCoalition of Conservatives in Action