Trash, drug use and defecation outside the SLO Train Museum

October 14, 2022


Business owners and local residents are expressing frustration over a homeless encampment that has sprung up in the parking lot by the San Luis Obispo Train Museum.

Individuals have been camping in the parking lot close to the SLO Railroad Museum. At night, there are often numerous homeless individuals in the encampment, some who leave piles of trash when they move on.

Business owners in the area say they have seen drug use and urination at the encampment. The city of SLO oversees the lot, and local business pay monthly for parking for their customers.

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Since the homeless are camped at the train station are they not technically called–HoBos?

Curious minds wonder….

Hobos road the rails and stayed intermittently. If they caused a problem they got an “invitation” from the police for a ride to the northern or southern city limit with instructions to keep walking. If they were mentally ill a judge would commit them to low security Patton or Agnew state hospitals for mandatory treatment. I knew them growing up with them in Mitchell Park and later volunteering at the People’s Kitchen. They had just a knapsack and sleeping roll, were respectful, did not generate trash, and used, not vandalized, had sex and did drugs in, the public restrooms. Give me the hobos and a few bottles of T-Bird or Night Train bottles in the trash cans, not broken on the sidewalk or street.

Did you also know…Back in the day they also ran a great restaurant in Morro Bay.

The HoBo Joe’s scramble for breakfast is dearly missed. ;-)

We the citizens have enacted laws to make life better for the populace as a whole. If the laws are broken there needs to be appropriate punishment. Homelessness is a separate unrelated issue.

Prior to the Reagan Administration the Federal Government had mental institutions all across the country. As a cost saving measure to balance the budget, these facilities were closed down and those mentally disabled were dumped onto the streets. Prior to this change, there were few homeless in the State and in fact most were in Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. The homeless population back then was estimated at less than 25,000 Statewide. Now the estimate, including the nightly shelter data is in excess of 500,000 in California. Yes, the population has increased. Interesting side bit is that by allowing the homeless to wander the streets it cost tax payers over $50,000.00 a year per homeless individual. The costs is based upon numerous factors: Police call outs, fire and emergency medical call outs, hospital visits, vandalism, destruction of private property, thefts perpetrated by the homeless, cleanup of homeless encampments, other agency staff time, homeless services, counseling services, huge profit margins (salaries) for those that run these facilities (top executive pay) and so on. Pre-Reagan the institutions were storage houses that provided full care for these individuals in a cost effective manner. So Reagan shifted the cost, a manageable cost from the federal government to the local agencies and onto society at a staggering cost. Yes, staff reports advised Reagan to not shut the facilities down for a host of reasons, but the party wanted it.

Our constitution protects the rights of the wayward traveler to camp on public property for as long as they want to. The Idaho State Supreme Court indicated that the homeless individual can go to the bathroom where ever they want to, since that is their restroom facility. The Orange County Superior Court hammered the ill-conceived eradication of the homeless round-up performed by the County of Orange’s Stormwater Division. The City of San Luis Obispo’s Attorney was advised to stop harassing the homeless population via agency tactics. This conduct resulted in a judgement against the City that in effect cost us taxpayers millions (staff time, and a judgement), yet she kept her job.

So, if you want to change the situation, develop a plan, get buy-in from the ACLU, then provide those services, but caution is the word. If you build it they will come.

You gloss over the role of Democrats who had long called for the closing of any institution where someone would be involuntarily kept against their will in the absence of their being convicted of a crime. They want these people on the streets and in our face to extort more money for social programs that benefit only the employees of those programs, CAPSLO and TMHA come to mind, that are given taxpayer money and pay themselves whatever they want with little oversight. Physical infrastructure can be competitively bid and should contracted out. Social services can’t really be bid and are given to the organization with the most political capital.

It was a Carter who signed the Mental Health Systems Act in 1980, which provided that states would fund the majority of mental health programs, with some federal dollars. Reagan signed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act in ’81, which reigned in excessive federal spending across the board. Reagan did NOT end mental health facilities in the states, only federal funding.

Carter signed the law in 1980, but Reagan repealed it in 1981. Reagan contributed to the problem both as governor and as president.

Here’s a pretty detailed timeline of the history:

Because KQED can always be counted on to present a politically unbiased report…

Carter slashed federal aid to states in 1979 and 1980, while increasing monies to congress and foreign spending. These domestic aid cuts included that to state run mental health. Reagan didn’t repeal the act in ’81, he enforced Carter’s federal budget cuts, as obliged by law.

Think of the homeless as God, giving the non-homeless a chance to show compassion and love to their less fortunate brothers and sisters. What would Jesus do?

Being homeless is not a crime. But littering, illicit drug use, and defecation is. This does not help garnishing tax payer sympathy. Starting to believe it is a choice to be homeless in majority of cases.

It absolutely IS a chosen lifestyle. The only solution is to make that lifestyle very unpleasant by way of incarcerating them for their criminal activity.

This is an issue everywhere in the county and probably California. In Atascadero the encampments around the 41 off ramp to the 101 were cleaned out. Now we have a homeless encampment behind our office building. There are piles of trash, junk filled grocery carts, and the homeless defecate in the walkway between our building and the next one. They are technically on Caltrans property between our office building and the freeway so we can do nothing to remove them, only clean up our property which isn’t pleasant.

Try loud music aimed at 101. I suggest something like Richard Wagner, “Flight of the Valkyries “ over and over…

The US military (psyops) used the technique to flush out Noriega in Panama years ago. Think they played Barry Manilow, full volume, 24/7. That would do it for me.

Get permission from Disney to use “It’s a Small World”, that would drive me away in 30 seconds.

There is NO SHAME IN 2022; and that’s the problem. Used to be people would be more or less embarrassed to be seen or even viewed as homeless. Nowadays the homeless are comfortable as can be with free handouts readily available. IT’S OUR FAULT. Accountability! Family, friends, co workers; say something! Confrontation doesn’t have to mean violence and injury( mental or physical ). Be tough and stand up for what’s right!

“We’re from the government, and we’re here to help you! No no, not you taxpayer citizens and businesses, don’t be silly. SLO may or may not have a homeless problem, and we are using all resources to help these people. Which is why you pay extra for parking, and the “homeless shelter” staff gets paid very well for not doing much about it. And, the garbage? What garbage? Those are the personal memento’s of travelers visiting the beautiful central coast!”

And the City puts up with this why? Put them on the next train or bus to NY.

Educate yourself, Google Martin vs. Boise. And it’s a constitutional case! Just like the first fathers imagined.