SILVA: Homeless need more attention, care

October 25, 2013 

Not enough awareness, care for people in need

I’m fortunate to have lived all of my life on the family farm.

Recently, while at the California Dairyman’s store on G Street, I noticed what looked like tents across the street by a packing shed. One of the employees at the store said it was a homeless encampment and I have since discovered that it is only on of many.

When I went back, I was told that a body had been removed from the site. It appears that these people have no running water, utilities or waste disposal and the shelters are very poor.

I understand that many of these people choose to live this way but it does seem strange that no one seems to mind their presence or worry about them. I am sure that there are several places they could go to for help, but prefer not to do so.

If you own a dairy or farm, there are very strict rules concerning the living conditions for animals on your property, but there are no such rules for people within or outside the city limits. We have an encampment on Ward Road near the old railroad tracks.

Often there are complaints about the treatment of our prison population. We are talking about murderers, rapists, child molesters, drug dealers – whatever it takes to be sent to prison. These prisoners also choose the lifestyle that puts them away, but people still worry about their treatment and medical care, and many are being released early because of prison overcrowding. Perhaps the people who constantly advocate for prisoners should turn their attention to the homeless.

There are people who make sure that farm animals and pets as well as prisoners are treated humanely, but seem to ignore the needs of the homeless. Where is the compassion for them? I know that people have their rights and freedoms, but to be allowed to live in a way that affects their health and safety and also affects the health and safety of everyone.

We spend billions on entitlements for many people who often abuse the system so there is no excuse for people to live like this. Why not direct some of that money to those who really need it?

DAVID J. SILVA,

Los Banos

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