This letter was written in response to La Mesa City Councilmember Laura Lothian's proposal to purchase land in Campo to house La Mesa's homeless population. The item is slated to be heard tonight, May 10. Tisdale sent copies of her letter to the city of La Mesa, Supervisor Joel Anderson, and Campo-Lake Morena's planning group chair Billie Jo Jannen.
By Donna Tisdale, Chair, Boulevard Planning Group (photo, left)
First and foremost, It would be the courteous and ethical thing to do to provide timely notice and ask the Campo - Lake Morena Community Planning Group to weigh in on your proposal to export your problem to their predominantly low-income rural community where most residents are already struggling to survive the pandemic, government-induced inflated cost of living, and a basically open US/Mexico border with daily smuggling activities. They don't need an additional problem foisted on them.
Rural residents have the added burden of an expensive commute due to the increasing cost of gas. We make many sacrifices in order to enjoy the benefits of quiet country living. A serious lack of local services is one of those sacrifices ,including very limited medical and law enforcement . In some cases, it may take days for law enforcement to answer a call to a rural home.
Exporting your homeless problem to Campo's underserved rural area is neither justified nor warranted for local residents or the homeless population. Shelters / alternative housing should be placed close to services, not an hour away.
As past experience documents, if approved, the homeless will likely not stay in the planned facilities but will instead migrate out into our scattered residential areas causing the same problems that La Mesa and other cities are trying to control. We just don't have the necessary services to address that issue.
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