Nick Welsh’s even-tempered and informative article on homelessness is a welcome change from the recent weeks of charged-up griping and grandstanding about how to serve, or mainly how not to serve, or even more popular, how to wish ill upon our homeless population. Having lived in Santa Barbara for 21 years and having visited downtown at least three times a week for personal and business matters, I have never been harassed in any way by any panhandler or seemingly homeless or dysfunctional person. Thus, I am disgusted by the comments of certain city council members who want to decree what kind of person “deserves” to be on State Street. It is ironic that the council members visited Santa Monica to talk about homeless programs, since they surely would not agree to adding more services or care workers (and, horrors, a tax increase) to address the “homeless issue”. In fact, Ms. Self made it clear that the only information she was interested in after visiting Santa Monica was how to get the homeless off the streets. Having been to Santa Monica recently, I can say that the homeless are still very much a presence, and it seems that they will continue to be a part of that community, so it’s time to just get used to the fact that there are people without homes, and there will be more people without homes in this current political climate. I applaud all of the humane efforts that Santa Barbara has made over the past several years to care for people in desperate straits, and I believe that a community which wants to drive out people because they remind us of our own human vulnerability is a sorry place.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Mandatory Evacuation Called for Fire Zones

Heavy rains expected Tuesday-Thursday; debris flows feared.

Cannabis Farmer Gets over $1 Million Insurance Payout

Thomas Fire ash destroys crop; analysis finds asbestos, lead, arsenic, and magnesium.

Next Debris Flow Could Take Different, Unknown Path

"I've never seen this degree of hazard," says Cal Fire scientist.

Biggest Storm Since 1/9 Approaching Santa Barbara

The storm system brings increased threat of flash floods and debris flows.

Jack Johnson Tours Montecito Disaster Area Ahead of Benefit Concert

Jack and Kim Johnson met with Bucket Brigade leaders to see the destruction firsthand.