The front-page article in the Auburn Journal on March 8 did not make sense to me, or anyone else I spoke with who had read it (“Commission OKs limiting year-round homeless shelters to industrial areas”). While quickly scrutinizing the story and the accompanying map, I saw that my business was right smack dab in the middle of a highlighted industrial zone.
However, the road that my business and several others are on is not even shown on the map! I realize that this article is nothing more than a convoluted deception, designed to hide a very bad proposal which might bring our city into compliance with a state law passed in 2007.
This proposal would allow disenfranchised or homeless people to create their own permanent emergency “shelters” (meaning tents and or camps) with minimal services provided by the city (i.e.: portable toilets?).
This would occur right alongside our residential, retail, commercial and industrial businesses in two designated areas near the Southern Pacific right-of-way. These are the most dangerous areas in our community! Keep in mind that alcohol, drugs and machinery don’t mix!
We must also look out for the safety and wellbeing of these people, as well as our own. As the crime goes up, so will our cost of insurance, as we would be located right next to (or in) “Hobo Junction.” In addition, our new legal and permanent neighbors’ appearances and housekeeping would have a negative effect on the City of Auburn’s “Historic Gateway on Highway 49,” with its new Streetscapes, tourist attractions and only minimal services.
I know that some may see this letter as subversive or non-compassionate, but it’s really not. It’s just truthful! The City of Auburn can do better than this ill-conceived proposal.
Perhaps we can start to take better care of our needy (whatever their illnesses are) by having our local government open a blog to the general public to ask for ideas on how to better help our whole community solve this social and fiscal problem.
We also would like the city to publicly retract this very bad proposal and start over!
CHARLES BECKETT, Auburn