The homeless situation hasn’t gone away, though it’s been missing from the front page for a few days. And no new solutions other than build more houses or “granny flats” in residential neighborhoods have been proposed. Unfortunately, bills like AB 101, which recently passed, are in place to give more incentive to build by rewarding developers once the projects are completed. And create an oversight committee at the tune of $500,000. Our tax dollars at work, once again.
The suggestion to use existing sites, like Camp Roberts, isn’t really that farfetched of an idea. A provision under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987, Title V, states that federal “properties must be made available for no charge to nonprofit groups, faith-based charities, local housing agencies and other providers” before being sold off. Why not refurbish empty buildings, turn them into decent housing for families and possibly a “center” for the homeless where shelter, services and programs would be readily available, and under one roof?
Housing for the homeless shouldn’t be in your backyard, and definitely not in established neighborhoods, but we can’t ignore the fact that Californians are being priced out of the housing market and there are those who simply cannot take care of themselves. The number of homeless will continue to rise in Bakersfield and so will the cost of living in California. I think anything is open for discussion at this point.
L. V. Hernandez, Tehachapi