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Homelessness is growing problem

I would like to address a growing problem here in Tahoe. I am referring to the growing problem of homeless people here in Tahoe. I know that some of these people have fallen on hard times and ended up homeless and to those my heart goes out to them. But some of these people choose to be homeless. I have asked some of them why they don’t go to Sacramento or Reno where there is a homeless shelter where they can have a bed to sleep in, food to eat and a place to shower. They tell me it is because they don’t want to have to live by the rules at the shelters. Some of these people lived here in Tahoe through the winter and I know they struggled here in the winter time with the cold. Being a local, I have noticed there is always an increase of homeless people moving into Tahoe in the summer time. Several of these homeless and transit people hang out at Y Transit Center everyday. I have witnessed these people sitting inside the transit center passing a bottle of Vodka back and forth getting drunk. They sit at the Y Transit Center getting drunk and then they leave their empty alcohol bottles and garbage on the ground and inside the transit center making the area look trashy. Some of them sleep in the transit center and the evening buss driver has to run them out of the transit center to lock it up. The man who was hit by a car at 3rd street and highway fifty Sunday night on July 12th was one of those homeless people who sat at the Y Transit Center and drank with another man till they were both highly intoxicated. Then he walks out in front of a car while crossing highway fifty and gets hit by a car. Now the poor driver of that car is probably facing criminal charges for hitting this drunken man crossing the street. There is one homeless lady who has been living in the bus stop shelters along highway fifty between the Super Eight Motel and Pioneer Trail. this lady just moves in and takes over the bus stop shelter with all her stuff. She makes the bus passengers uncomfortable when they are waiting for the bus at the bus stop this lady is living in. I see many of them panhandling at the Y Transit Center and in front of Raley’s at the Y. Then they go buy alcohol with the money they get panhandling. I have seen them sitting behind Raley’s passing a bottle of Vodka back and forth. One man I know panhandles money and then goes to the Casino and gambles it away. I wonder at times how many of these homeless people are criminals who are hiding from the law? many of these homeless people are struggling with mental issues. Then the tourists come to Tahoe and see all the homeless people and transits drunk and dirty. Is this the kind of image the city counsel wants to present to our tourists and other visitors? Why doesn’t the local law enforcement and our city counsel do something about this growing problem?

Jerry Rice



South Lake Tahoe


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