Santa Barbara is the only city I have been to that is not at war with the homeless. In Palm Springs you are rousted and ticketed, arrested, abused, and your civil rights revoked. The same in San Diego and Los Angeles and Chicago and New York.

It’s a declared war, not unlike the war on drugs, that does not solve the problem. It turns it into a hydra: with every struck-off head, four more appear.

Not in Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara is giving peace a chance, and it seems like a very good start.

The homeless population is well-represented per capita with the local gentry on State Street.

I met one of the homeless celebrities of this town yesterday, a character I will call The Dodger, who struts down the street in his stocking feet, seducing shy waves and blown kisses from the shopkeepers, men and women alike. The cultures are merging here colorfully and marketably.

I believe that if you build a massive facility (The Rescue Mission is a blessing but meeting basic needs of a community is not the same as curing the disease [dis-ease] of selflessness which is so much worse than just not having a home. And there is a sadness there in the gloomy morning mist when the residents are homeless again for 12 hours. I think it’s hopelessness) to attract a brain trust and working farm and ranch and industry — socialize from the ground up — let them build it: the homeless as yet untrained, uneducated; families, pets, wheelchairs; the crazies, the custodial, and the diamonds in the rough. No one turned away. Working opportunities in a multidimensional crusade city that are self supporting but attractive to every individual and foundation that wants its name associated with the miracle I think may happen here.

I’ve been around, and I am just saying, it really could be here because you are off to such a good start Santa Barbara.


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