Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Christine Emerson
Observer Staff Writer 

Time to protect ourselves from the 'homeless'

When are we going to get the so-called homeless off the street?

 

When are we going to demand a common threshold of acceptable behavior for the right to walk among the well behaved?

The murder conviction today for Edric Dashell Gross, 50, an African-American transient found guilty of strangling two Santa Monica women followed a six-year investigation into his guilt - followed by a five-year search for his person. Apparently, when you have no address and constantly drift through the dozens of municipalities in the moderate climate of Southern California, you can evade the authorities for a good long time.

Part of the problem in confronting the issue of 'homelessness' is the conflation of two very different populations. One group, usually through poverty, has lost the ability to own or pay rent, but has no mental or substance abuse issues. The other group has landed on the street because either mental illness or substance abuse - or both - have made them unable to function in society. They are not merely homeless, they are dysfunctional and exhibit behavior that is highly antisocial, refusing to wash, shouting at phantoms, and occasionally threatening or even striking passersby.

Santa Monica, a city of a mere eight square miles, boasts a surveyed population of 738 people 'homeless' as of 2015. These surveys, conducted yearly by dedicated volunteers, fail to distinguish between the socially functional homeless and the mentally ill/substance abuser dysfunctional homeless, although the distinction is obviously of great import.

While mental illness is not associated with increased violent behavior - in fact the mentally ill are far more likely to become the victims of violence - substance abuse most certainly is correlated with violence.

It doesn't take a scholarly research paper to tell any of us that the large, angry 'homeless' man screaming at the top of his lungs while we're trying to get into 7-11 is a physical danger to us. So is the thin woman threatening high school students that they are going to become bloody while they're waiting to get picked up after school.

Why are the police cruising in their air-conditioned vehicles, searching for illegally parked cars to ticket instead of walking the treacherous block of Lincoln Boulevard between the 10 Freeway and Pico Boulevard? There deranged and dysfunctional 'homeless' individuals regularly harass teenage high school students and camp out in front of beleaguered storefronts. If we can't figure out a way to take care of and treat these antisocial and mentally ill individuals, then we must at least decide to protect ourselves, and especially our youth, from the threat of their unpredictable behavior and violence.

 
 

Reader Comments
(2)

Dan writes:

Er.. try embracing socialism..

Fashism writes:

Refuse to wash? This writer is obviously a bighot. You see anywhere other than public fountains where a homeless person can bathe? restrooms not private or locked after dark? People come to Santa Monica thinking money is here. Whether it be begging for change. Or looking for work. But the god honest truth Is that Santa Monica is a very segregated city. Class segregation. Financial segregation. And racial segregation. Those that do have jobs also carry attitude due to their own burdens felt by this. Few smile unless they think you've got plenty to spend. Rent and parking prices are criminal. Parking fines seem to be set by the antichrist. And though their a re e definitely dangerous and threatening homeless individuals. Most folks are simply unable to make anything positive from this money greedy city. Bathrooms with coin/token doors are anti-human. Saying homeless folks refuse to bathe is pure fascism. This post is less than accurate. IT'S just parrinoya propaganda.

 
 
 

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