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LETTERS: FEMA trailers in Citrus Heights, chronic homelessness

Vacant lots on Sayonara Drive are the site where Councilman Bret Daniels has proposed setting up FEMA trailers to temporarily house homeless families. // CH Sentinel

Latest letters from Citrus Heights Sentinel readers discuss pros and cons of a recent proposal to house homeless in FEMA trailers on Sayonara Drive, as well as alternative solutions to addressing homelessness.

FEMA trailers won’t solve chronic homeless problem
[RE: Councilman proposes using ‘FEMA-type’ trailers for homeless in Citrus Heights, Sept. 29th] I believe that this idea (although noble) is putting the “cart before the horse.” The homeless that Councilman Daniels is citing are families that have had bad fortune and lost their jobs and homes. Statistics show that many of these people, given a leg up can get back on track and become self-sustaining again. This particular strata of homeless has many avenues for help in our system. Providing FEMA trailers would be an end result of evaluation and a step-by-step plan and urgency of need.

The chronic homeless are a different problem to solve. There are many factors to evaluate: physical health, income, mental health evaluation and prognosis, developmental disability, personal support systems, medical and medicine needs, nutrition deficits — plus dental, vision and hearing, to name some. Many homeless are capable of some kind of meaningful work, many do not want to go to a shelter where there are rules, and many need to have “some” help…

I think the problem is monumental, but we try to put band-aids on instead of looking at the basis of the problem. Policing the mentally ill homeless is not the answer. We as a city, county, and state must come up with a plan. All we are doing is “marching in place” — nothing is going positively forward. Why can’t we re-open the state hospitals for mentally ill that have lain fallow for so many years? …Oh yes, it would be costly to refurbish, but at what cost of human life and care? Let’s quit playing ostrich and start solving.

FEMA trailers would be great way to get homeless off street
[RE: Councilman proposes using ‘FEMA-type’ trailers for homeless in Citrus Heights, Sept. 29th] I agree with Bret Daniel’s idea of putting the FEMA trailers on the vacant lots. Asking the homeless to pay a minimal monthly fee would also not be unreasonable. There has to be grant money somewhere. Get these people off the streets.

About those trailers…
[RE: Councilman proposes using ‘FEMA-type’ trailers for homeless in Citrus Heights, Sept. 29th] Yep — lets put FEMA trailers on Sayonara Drive. Then we will not have to worry about the “New Luxury Homes” ever going to be built right behind the trailers.
-Jim Monteton, Citrus Heights

Stop giving homeless money
[RE: Homeless drug addicts are taking over our city; Letter, Aug. 25th] Put yourself in their shoes and it can probably be figured out better. They lack a lot of things we take for granted and lose perspective. Some need the kind of help they don’t want, so they need guidance. I have sat and talked to many of these homeless over a period of three years or so. We have to stop giving them money. I’ve heard this out of some of their own mouths.

Some really need mental health to step in. Anyone that can’t think for their self is a danger to them and others. They don’t want to go to shelters, so they need to be forced. It’s the only way they can move forward. I don’t want to see them so demoralized they’re out begging.
-Shirley Tarpley, Citrus Heights

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