The Canvas Crisis

I don’t know what provoked me to pause and read this story except I’m concerned about the poor economic news recently as we all are.

I do know why I’ve taken the time to post this story.

The headline warns,

Ontario’s homeless enclave becomes regional haven“.

The newspaper reports,

ONTARIO – Nobody knows the exact population of Tent City, but the area has swelled beyond expectations.

The dusty, undeveloped city-owned parcel at Cucamonga Avenue and Jefferson Street is filled with tents, campers and makeshift shelters.

Mayor Paul Leon moans, “It took on a life of its own. It didn’t occur to us it would grow to this size this fast, which reflects the need.”

The city provides water and bathrooms, and picks up trash. Churches regularly provide food. Councilman Jason Anderson said the property was always considered a temporary refuge for the homeless….

[but this] “…population explosion is evidence that people are streaming in from all over the region.”

County Supervisor Gary Ovitt plans to have a meeting with other mayors to find a solution.

“We’ve pledged to help in any way we can when the city figures out how it will handle things. It is an unfair burden to Ontario.”

The article points out that police would typically harass homeless sleeping on the streets. A resident points out,

“I understand something needs to be done for these people, but I don’t think the answer is Tent City. You’re just asking for sickness, violence or other problems.”

Toward the end of the article in the San Bernadino area newspaper The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, the burden on the city is summarized as

“…the city can’t go it alone when it comes to the homeless.”

I’m now expecting to see 100s of acres of huddled homeless!! What on earth can be causing such alarm in this city of more than 200,000 and for

Tent City for homeless, Daily Bulletinthe Mayor,
the City Council,
County officials,
elected officials,
other Mayors,
nearby officials,
parole officers,
regional police,
church members,
food banks and
the city’s residents?

Will we ever be confident our society is capable of managing the incredible burden of such an “alarming Tent City” with so many leaders and officials helpless about the homeless?