As someone involved with the homeless problem in San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria, I am aware of the complex issues surrounding the homeless. Stephen Ripple’s letter (“A Skewed View,” Jan. 20) criticized Councilman Dan Carpenter’s view of the transient problem in the city of San Luis Obispo and its link to the new shelter.
We need to address the city’s growing transient problem. San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and San Diego share common qualities that draw this population. All are cities with warm weather, vibrant downtowns, giving communities, and all are tourist destinations. Santa Barbara has numerous programs, financial aid and a homeless shelter. The city continues to battle the large influx of transients who panhandle daily in the city’s downtown.
I support a scaled-down version of the homeless shelter but am also concerned the transient problem is creating a negative view of the shelter.
Mr. Ripple, Dan Carpenter is a man who has never hesitated to give back to his community, particularly to those less fortunate. We share a desire to do what is best for our community and those in need, but we need to address the transient problem before we can gain the support of the residents and guests of the wonderful city of San Luis Obispo.