proposed Berkeley, CA services would attract more "bums" FWD

Tom Boland (
Mon, 22 Jun 1998 13:53:53 -0700 (PDT)
FWD  San Francisco Chronicle - June 16, 1998 - Page A20


HOMELESS YOUTH and vagrants hanging out on Berkeley's Telegraph Avenue
would be provided $550,000 worth of new services under a plan to be
presented tonight to the City Council.

The proposal would extend hours at a youth drop-in center, increase
counseling services and supply street people with lockers, showers and a
top-of-the-line, self-cleaning outhouse on the avenue that would cost
$61,000 a year. Restaurants would be required to provide toilets for all

For years, merchants have complained that homeless adults and youth scare
away customers and make a mess of the street. But supporters of the plan
insist it would not only make life more pleasant for the luckless and
indigent but would also help keep them off the street.

They argue that additional services, coupled with more police and more
frequent street cleaning, would help tone up the funky six blocks of
Telegraph where young idlers lounge, beg and socialize.

As they consider the proposal, the council members should be reminded that
providing those extra comforts to street-living would be a clarion call to
Bay Area beggars, bums and vagabonds -- as well as homeless youth -- that
the welcome mat is out in Berkeley.


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