The local beach and bay press paper, The Peninsula Beacon, has taken on the issue of the homeless youth crowding the sidewalks of Ocean Beach in a recent article by Kevin McKay. This is very commendable. Yet the article was written without the benefit of talking to any of the homeless youth.
Business leaders are quoted in the article, and they have important things to say, but there are no quotes from anyone who can be described as a member of this targeted group. To their credit, the OB Rag is mentioned and our web address cited.
But without the voices of these youth – kids, tumbleweeds, whatever you or they want to call themselves – have still not been heard. It is a difficult task, and we have failed in this as well, up to now. That is about to change. We will be posting an interview with some of the young people very soon.
Here is the first part of the Beacon article (they even used similar photos sent to them by one of our fave photographers, Jim Grant):
Free spirits tax even OB’s tolerance level
by Kevin McKay / Peninsula Beacon / February 10, 2010
For decades, the prevailing wind in Ocean Beach has carried with it a theme of tolerance, forgiveness and a live-and-let-live philosophy. In this laid-back, hippie-influenced enclave, it usually takes a lot to upset the balance.
Over time, migrations of transients have come and gone, setting up temporary residence along Newport Avenue and the OB Pier — homeless veterans, the mentally ill, the down-and-outers — most just keeping to themselves and wishing to be left undisturbed, according to observers.
But residents and merchants are becoming vocal against a new set of particularly aggressive, panhandling free spirits ranging in age from 18 to 26 — some, according to police, from as far away as Canada and many apparently hailing from Portland and other parts of Oregon — that has set down temporary stakes in Ocean Beach.
For the remainder of this article go here.