California Rain - Laguna Homelesss Have a Warm Place to Stay

Laguna Woods, California
January 6, 2016 8:38pm CST
As many of you know, a friend and I walk at Laguna Beach nearly every morning, the year around. However, the past few days we have been getting heavy rain, so we have been walking at a local mall, instead. This morning we chatted about the homeless people we regularly see in Laguna. The town has a consistent population of about 35+ homeless, such as the man you see in the chair above. Every day, he rakes the leaves away from his favorite spot to sit. Then, he spreads out an old oriental rug, sets his beach chair on it along with an ice chest and a CD player. He puts on headphones, listens to his music and reads a book. He also "decorates" his sitting area. Often, he has pots of flowers. (I suspect he picks them up when my church is finished with them. Our church is the only one nearby.) Sometimes he props a photo of Jesus up against his ice chest. There is another homeless man who always walks around wearing a long trench coat. He chats in a very friendly way with anyone who will talk to him ... which my friend and I often do. There are other "regulars," too, such as the pony-tailed man who wears all black and the 60ish woman who always has a towel wrapped around her hair, like she just took a shower. I decided to do an internet search to find out where the homeless go at night in Laguna Beach. I learned there is an "Alternative Sleeping Location" for about 35 people, with showers and meals. There is also a place called Friendship House that houses 32 homeless at a time for longer periods and helps them become stabilized so they can move into their own apartments ... where their rent is just 1/3 of whatever their income is. There is an interfaith council that provides free meals to them, as well as other services. There is also a clinic that provides them with care for both physical and mental illnesses. It made me feel good to know that the homeless in our area have warm, dry places to stay when the weather is like this. I hope they do wherever you live, too.
24 people like this
22 responses
@Hatley (164654)
• Garden Grove, California
7 Jan 16
I am not sure if they really do here so maybe I should do some researc h bu yes when we had been evicted and been homeless my son o me in here and he found a curch oriented society that housed single men who were broke and out of work and homeless so that they had a place to give to potential employers so he would get hired.My son networked with a buddy who worked for the place that my son is working now and also was related tothe owner too. So now he is on section 8 housing in a one bedroom apt for thirty percent of his wages.
6 people like this
@paigea (22199)
• Canada
7 Jan 16
I am glad he has a home and a job. Good for him.
4 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
8 Jan 16
Section 8 housing is wonderful, because it helps people to have an address and a real place to live. Then they can get jobs more easily and take care of themselves.
5 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
8 Jan 16
@paigea and @Hatley - I am so glad that Patsie's son has a place to live.
4 people like this
@Tampa_girl7 (25690)
• United States
7 Jan 16
We don't have homeless people here, but some are extremely poor and live in pitiful structures. I suppose they are not far from being homeless.
5 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
8 Jan 16
No homeless people in your part of Mississippi? That is fortunate. However, I have been to Mississippi and I know what you mean about how some people live in pitiful structures that are not much different from being homeless. I hope they get services to help them.
2 people like this
• Canada
7 Jan 16
It's good when a person can find shelter, especially when the weather is poor. A kind listening ear like yours makes a big difference, too.
4 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
8 Jan 16
I have always thought that it is important to treat the homeless like they are human beings ... which they are, of course. Some do not want to be bothered, and that is OK, too. The man in the photo almost never talks to anyone, but at least he has his music, his books, food, and a place to sleep safely at night.
2 people like this
• Canada
9 Jan 16
@DeborahDiane As you've said, of course they are human. Any of us could end up in a similar place given certain circumstances: job loss, emotional trauma, addiction, mental health. That doesn't mean homeless people necessarily want to talk to everyone who walks by, but kindness goes a long way.
1 person likes this
@just4him (116854)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
8 Jan 16
We have a couple homeless shelters here. My older son was at one for a while. He's living here for the time being.
3 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
8 Jan 16
I can understand why a homeless shelter is so important to have in Wisconsin. Sadly, homeless shelters have become the only place where many of the mentally ill and addicted are able to find shelter.
3 people like this
@just4him (116854)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
8 Jan 16
@DeborahDiane A lot of people here are homeless because they are out of work.
3 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
9 Jan 16
@just4him - Unemployment is a serious problem in certain pockets of the U.S. I wish we at least had jobs programs like they had during the Great Depression. Pay people to build bridges or other public works projects. It makes no sense that we have unemployed people and a national infrastructure that is falling apart.
3 people like this
@BelleStarr (38213)
• United States
8 Jan 16
I am not sure if there is a shelter but there is a food kitchen that serves 3 meals a day operated by the Catholic Diocese of Norwich.
3 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
8 Jan 16
I'm glad there is an organization that feeds the homeless. That is so important. However, in Connecticut in the winter, I hope they have a warm place to stay, too!
2 people like this
@PatZAnthony (12656)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
12 Jan 16
Yes @BelleStarr there is shelter in your area, just not enough.
2 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
14 Jan 16
@PatZAnthony - It seems to me that there are not enough shelters anywhere in this country.
1 person likes this
@DianneN (78053)
• United States
7 Jan 16
There are no homeless people in my communities that I am aware of, especially not in my area of CT. I am happy there are so many shelters in your area.
3 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
8 Jan 16
There are no homeless in my gated Laguna retirement community, either. However, the town of Laguna Beach, where the price of homes starts at over $1 million and tops out at $20 million or more, has about 35 long-term homeless residents. I think it is nice that the city takes care of them. The Starbucks at the beach is probably one of the few places in the US where millionaires stand in line, chatting with homeless people! LOL
4 people like this
@DianneN (78053)
• United States
8 Jan 16
@DeborahDiane All I know is that waterfront property is very expensive. Just ask me about it! LOL! I am sure most of the city knows those homeless people. That is so nice.
3 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
9 Jan 16
@DianneN - I think it is nice, too. One of the things I appreciate about the way they are treated is that the homeless are taken care of to the point that I have never seen one who panhandled. They just hang out and are part of the scenery ... like the surfers, the tourists and the beachcombers!
2 people like this
• United States
7 Jan 16
With services like these, it is surprising that the homeless population there is stable. Santa Monica was actually drawing homeless people from far away with the services they were providing. It became so bad, that it was scary for locals to go shopping or run errands. Once when my daughter and I went out to eat in SM, a homeless person accosted us in the parking lot. He was unbalanced. Staff walked us to our car when our meal was finished, so we would feel safe. It takes a lot to disturb me, but we never returned to that place again. Sad.
2 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
8 Jan 16
One of the ways they do this is that they let people from out of the area only spend one night in the homeless shelter. Then they help that transient person find assistance somewhere else.
2 people like this
@Auntylou (4318)
• Oxford, England
8 Jan 16
@DeborahDiane That is clearly a good policy as youmight otherwise become a mecca for the homeless
2 people like this
• United States
8 Jan 16
@DeborahDiane This is excellent. Santa Monica should try that.
2 people like this
• United States
7 Jan 16
what a sweet pic, ms. d-d. i fear i'd feel the need to sit 'n visit with this fella fer a bit 'n learn his story. we've shelters 'n missions 'round these parts, many'f the homeless won't use 'em though sadly. the poor, tortured souls're jest too paranoid. i hope that yer stayin' safe with all those heavy rains, hon.
2 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
8 Jan 16
I have heard that in many places the homeless will not use the homeless shelters. I know that is a big problem in Los Angeles. Of course, I would not want to use a shelter in Los Angeles, because there are some scary people there. I'm glad that most of the local homeless are willing to use the services of our local shelter. It makes me wonder what some of the shelters could do differently ... or what Laguna is doing right.
2 people like this
• United States
8 Jan 16
@DeborahDiane i dunno the answers to that, hon. perhaps laguna's still small 'nough that there's more folks to look after 'em? i do agree, there's some 'round these parts, bless their hearts, that i'd not be particularly fond'f bunkin' with neither.
2 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
9 Jan 16
@crazyhorseladycx - I appreciate the fact that our local homeless do not beg or panhandle. That would make me much more uncomfortable.
2 people like this
@garymarsh6 (14069)
• United Kingdom
7 Jan 16
There are homeless people here in London some through choice whilst others just down on their luck. It is very sad.
2 people like this
• United States
7 Jan 16
It's sad that in our country homelessness even exists but glad to hear that those in your area have a place to go when the weather is bad
2 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
8 Jan 16
I agree with you on both counts. It is sad that there are homeless in our country, but I am happy that they have places to go.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (53923)
• United Kingdom
7 Jan 16
If I was homeless Laguna would be the place I'd go to!
2 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
8 Jan 16
Yes, there are a lot of advantages to being homeless in Laguna ... including the fact that the weather is temperate most of the year.
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (157186)
• Switzerland
7 Jan 16
I always wonder where the homeless go during the night. In warm countries they can always find a place where to stay, but in cold countries it's a serious problem.
2 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
8 Jan 16
I agree. Since our country has so few mental health facilities, I think it is important that we take care of the homeless by at least feeding them and giving them shelter.
2 people like this
@bluesa (13421)
• Johannesburg, South Africa
7 Jan 16
@DeborahDiane , it is good to know Laguna Beach has such good shelters for the homeless, sadly, here it is not always the case though the government does try.
2 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
8 Jan 16
I'm glad that your country also tries to take care of its homeless. I'm afraid it is a worldwide problem.
2 people like this
@Platespinner (16492)
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
7 Jan 16
I'm glad you're getting the rain you all so desperately need, and that the local homeless have a warm dry place to go!
2 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
8 Jan 16
Yes, California has desperately needed this rain. I'm glad we got it, and I'm glad the local homeless have a warm place to stay. It is the responsible thing to do.
2 people like this
@moondebi (1213)
• Bangalore, India
7 Jan 16
It's good that homeless people got a shelter in a weird weather.
2 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
8 Jan 16
Yes, I think it is important to take care of the poor.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (123169)
• Bunbury, Australia
7 Jan 16
It's good there are places for the homeless to go - and to get a hot meal.
2 people like this
• Laguna Woods, California
8 Jan 16
After I read about the services that are available, I felt much better about the welfare of the local homeless.
2 people like this
@Auntylou (4318)
• Oxford, England
7 Jan 16
I am so glad that there is such support available for the homeless
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
8 Jan 16
It made me feel good to know these services are available to them. Now, when I see them, I know they get fed and have a warm place to sleep. By the way, I have never seen a homeless person in our area who begged for money.
1 person likes this
@Auntylou (4318)
• Oxford, England
8 Jan 16
@DeborahDiane Now that is really amazing!
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
9 Jan 16
@Auntylou - Yes, it is amazing that they do not beg or panhandle. It makes it much more comfortable to nod or say hello to them, if I know that they will not ask for money. They do not even sit around with signs that say, "Will work for food," like they do in other places.
1 person likes this
@PatZAnthony (12656)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
12 Jan 16
Here there is never enough housing for the homeless and sadly, those in a shelter must leave each morning and stay out all day-even in the wet and cold.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
14 Jan 16
You are so right that there is never enough housing for the homeless. It also bothers me that they have to leave the shelters during the day, even when it is wet and cold. There should be places they can stay during the day.
@jstory07 (67037)
• Roseburg, Oregon
8 Jan 16
There are several homeless sheltars in our area and ther are a couple of soup kitchens.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
9 Jan 16
Soup kitchens also help thousands of people around our country. They have saved many lives.
@paigea (22199)
• Canada
7 Jan 16
I don't even know about the small city nearby. I am not aware of any homeless people there or in the tiny villages scattered around. I know they have a shelter and program for homeless youth and one for women fleeing domestic violence. In the big city there are shelters but some people choose to sleep outside all winter regardless. When it gets really cold -30 C; agencies go out on the streets and try to convince those people to spend a night inside. There are services available to help people get stabilized and into their own apartments; I don't know a lot about them.
1 person likes this
• Laguna Woods, California
8 Jan 16
As far as I know, all the homeless do go to the shelter. The city even bought a van so they could give free rides between the shelter and the beach each day. Some of them used to sleep under the boardwalk before the new shelter was built. However, they boarded up the space under the boardwalk, so that was no longer possible.
2 people like this