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LETTERS: homeless, police, Citrus Heights Navigator program

homeless man
File photo, a homeless man pushes a shopping cart along Greenback Lane. // CH Sentinel

Latest letters include various perspectives from residents and area homeless who share their thoughts on the “navigator program” in Citrus Heights, an effort designed to connect homeless with resources and help them get into housing.

I have a job, but I’m still homeless and the navigator isn’t much help
[RE: I’m homeless, and the ‘Navigator program’ in Citrus Heights isn’t working; Letters, Dec. 9th]  I would have to agree with the homeless man who states the navigator is a waste of time and money. My family is homeless and has been homeless for over a year. I met with the navigator, Toni, a few times. She’s a sweet person, nothing against her, but what she does, does nothing to help you get into a place. She sends you a handful of apartment names in the area, doesn’t tell you if there renting, they’re not any easier to get approved for… that’s it.

I have a job, I don’t make a million dollars, I make minimum wage and I can’t get approved for any housing because I don’t make three times the rent and I don’t have good credit! Nothing in my credit history is recently bad, actually I have one account in good standing that is the only thing in my credit, but places don’t accept that. I believe one time I was told if I could do a larger deposit, I said okay… but the larger deposit was $3,000. I’m a single mom… I don’t have $3,000. Besides that, they do nothing else to help.
-Candace O’Neil, Citrus Heights

I’m homeless by choice; I don’t want any help
[RE: Navigator program is working, but homeless have to want help; Letters, Dec. 16th]  I’m homeless here in Citrus Heights by my choice. This USA “Land of the Free?” When was there a law passed stating that you have to have a home or you’re a criminal?

Regarding helping those who want or need help, I guess being told by [an officer] to leave and move to a national park is very helpful. And destroying and/or stealing our belongings really is a good way to start in helping the homeless. I don’t want any help. I’ll be okay, I never asked for help. I’m just saying, ask any homeless person in Citrus Heights how many people they know that received real assistance from the navigator or police. Where is your money going? Not where they say it is. I hope I won’t be a target for speaking the truth. But when I am, it won’t be shocking. — Your local criminal third-class unwanted citizen.
-Craig Douglas Hoppe, Citrus Heights

Police officers should treat homeless with more respect
[RE: Navigator program is working, but homeless have to want help; Letters, Dec. 16th]  I read the article and Citrus Heights police response and it looks good in print, but the reality of it does not look good. I try to feed, clothe and do what I can for the homeless, and I’ve personally witnessed officers being very rude and making unnecessary derogatory statements. I realize that dealing with the homeless can be problematic, but I do believe it’s WHAT THEY’RE PAID TO DO. And anyone could find themselves in situations similar.

To continue to tear a person down in this situation doesn’t have to happen, but it does and is unchecked and out of control. To take out personal feelings or a bad day on an already down-and-out person is just a violation of the worst kind to a fellow human being. An officer should keep personal thoughts to themselves and just do the job they’re paid to do, period. The personal commentary is childlike and immature. Should a homeless person speak to an officer in the same manner, there would usually be severe consequences. Of course, this is accepted behavior for them to make the derogatory comments.

With no obvious solution in sight, maybe Phoenix Arizona’s solution to the homeless should be used as an example or guideline to follow, as it is very successful. As a community, let’s come together and genuinely help, instead of tear down and destroy a person who is already down-and-out — or is this the process of dealing with this situation in Citrus Heights?
-Julie Nelson, Citrus Heights

I’m homeless and haven’t been offered anything
[RE: Navigator program is working, but homeless have to want help; Letters, Dec. 16th] I have been homeless for nine years in Citrus Heights. I have never been able to see the navigator, except talk on the phone with her one time in regards to my birth certificate. I was born in England, so to get ID, I need my passport or citizenship papers, which would cost $246. I have left multiple messages with the navigator and have gotten no response. So as far as funds helping the homeless, I haven’t been offered anything. I just get harassed by police, my belongings ruined, or threatened with jail. So I feel like they have failed me, but I’m only one person.

-Katy Elizabeth Ann Williams, Citrus Heights

I’ve never seen the homeless navigator
I’ve been residing in Citrus Heights for four years and have been homeless all but three months and have only heard of, never seen or met, this navigator. The last time I was cited for camping, I asked the officer where the nearest shelter was and I was told to just get on my bike and pedal till I got out of Citrus Heights and then look for one.
-Louis Kwasigroch, Citrus Heights

Want to share your thoughts on homelessness in Citrus Heights? The Sentinel’s policy is to publish every letter that comes in. Click here to submit a letter to the editor.

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