One mayor’s solution to homelessness: shut down soup kitchens

So, the way to deal with rebellious children is to threaten them with the death penalty, and the way to deal with homelessness is to get rid of charities

The world has officially lost its collective mind.


Looking to cut down on homeless services in Costa Mesa, Mayor Eric Bever has asked the city to investigate some of the city’s most prominent and long-running charities.

Bever singled out Share Our Selves and Someone Cares Soup Kitchen, decades-old nonprofits that dispense food and medical care to the poor and homeless.

The mayor compared the charities to nightclubs that have become neighborhood nuisances. It would go a long way to solving the problem of homeless people coming to Costa Mesa, the mayor said, “if we managed to put the soup kitchen out of business.”

The homeless population in Costa Mesa has been a stubborn political issue over the years, with some residents complaining that vagrants take over public facilities like Lions Park and the library in the heart of the city’s downtown.

But the assertion that the soup kitchen and outreach center are magnets strictly to homeless people is off base, said Shannon Santos, the executive director of Someone Cares.

Santos said a survey the soup kitchen conducted in 2011 found that 86% of its patrons said they were from Costa Mesa, and about 40% were low-income seniors, many from the nearby Bethel Towers apartments, which serves seniors with modest incomes.

“There’s a big misconception that the only people we’re feeding here at the kitchen are the homeless people,” Santos said. “I would love to invite the mayor to come in and see who we are really serving, and I think he’d be surprised.”

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