Homeless encounter

When I take Minnie on our hour-long afternoon walk, I go down Colorado Ave. to where it ends in a cul-de-sac and a chainlink fence with a sewage treatment plant beyond. To my right is a little wooded area, with a footpath leading down to the commercial street, Lake Murray Blvd. The footpath follows along the chainlink fence.

I saw a homeless man lying on the ground while walking Minnie at about 5 pm yesterday. He was lying asleep on a piece of cardboard.

I called La Mesa PD from my cell phone and they said they’d send someone. I believe them, but I still saw the man there when I returned with Minnie an hour later.

This afternoon about 4 pm: Same man, same place, this time blocking the whole path. Again, I called La Mesa PD, and they said they’d send someone. When I returned with Minnie an hour later, I saw the man walking up Lake Murray Blvd. Sure enough, he turned up the footpath and he was lying on the ground, same spot, when I passed by. I told him, “Hey, buddy, you can’t sleep here,” and he said he’d go somewhere else.

Next time I go walking, I’m bringing a printout of directions to St. Vincent de Paul and I’ll give him $10 for Trolley fare. I’m sympathetic to the plight of the homeless but he can’t sleep rough here.

Sometimes in the winter I find myself walking in the park after dusk. I see couples and individuals walking into the park, dressed in layers and carrying big bundles. I assume they’re homeless. That doesn’t bother me — I mean, it bothers me that they’re homeless and have to sleep rough, but I’m not concerned that our park is where they do it. They have to sleep somewhere. But not in our neighborhood.

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