Running roughshod over the homeless
Author: Nelson Morais
Date: Jan. 2, 2016
In Pomona, when temperatures dropped to the 20’s during the Christmas holidays, police were reportedly issuing citations to homeless people for loitering, while code enforcement officers stole the homeless residents’ personal property and crushed it in their garbage trucks.
Ron Williams is a former sergeant for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department who has been working hard for some time now to see a homeless shelter built in Pomona, which is located in Southern California. Not surprisingly, local officials and law enforcement oppose his efforts.
Ron asked rhetorically in a letter to the editor sent to a local paper, “Where is the sense of urgency as seven homeless individuals have died on the streets in the past two months? What is the city’s plan for the homeless residents as events reach a critical stage?” He also wrote this telling passage: “Roland Bishop, his girlfriend, Gina Layton, and mother, Kim Coltran, produced 10 tickets they recently received for sleeping inside their vehicle, which was parked near a church in North Pomona. Bishop quipped, ‘The cops are giving out tickets like candy! They roll deep, like six cops, and they’re writing everyone tickets! They took all my stuff and trashed it!'”
One homeless man spoke affectionately to Ron of two of his friends who recently succumbed to the elements. “Pisa done froze to death at Garfield Park, and Cuba cashed it in in front of East End Liquor.”
When I was homeless for six years in the 90’s, getting off the streets and into a homeless shelter with a roof over my head, heat or air-conditioning, and a real bed, were luxuries to me, and such a relief. I believe strongly that the homeless residents in Pomona, and homeless people in all cities, deserve to have the same option.