Original post made
by Kat, Palo Alto High School,
on Dec 15, 2007
The article in the Palo Alto Weekly on the homeless shelter, also known as the Opportunity Center, written by Lars Osterberg and Don Barr lacked objectivity. If one wants to investigate whether providing substantial services, including mental health, food, housing, etc. to homeless individuals actually serves as a magnet for the homeless, lets take a look at that situation without the built-in bias that these two gentlemen clearly hold. They are in favor of providing services to the homeless and consequently provide vague feedback that is missing any of the negative impact we as residents deal with on a daily basis. I walk the downtown area every day and the number of homeless has increased substantially since the Opportunity Center opened. I see rude, obnoxious behavior as homeless individuals spread their belongings in the shop doorways and over public benches. They shout at people passing by and frighten many people as they try to use the downtown. Mr. Osterberg and Mr. Barr, you are not being truthful with the residents of Palo Alto. The Opportunity Center and it's offspring have brought more homeless to our town and lessened the quality of life for everyone else.
Who are the private and public backers of this fiasco? Are they local residents and businesses or from out of town and therefore people and entities who don't want the problem near their homes and businesses? Why was it located near the high school and a vibrant downtown area? Are you listening City Council????