Chris Enss: Transients act like schoolyard bullies
During September transients set two major fires in Nevada County; one behind CVS Pharmacy and another on South Auburn.
I found a transient sleeping in the back of my pickup when I came out of Staples and was verbally abused when I asked the man to get out of my automobile. While patronizing another local business, I witnessed a homeless man trying to break into the vehicles belonging to the staff of that business and another sleeping on the bench outside the entrance at that same company. The police were called, but did not respond.
Last night, I was informed by the pastor at my church that he witnessed a homeless man stealing the lights around the crosses in front of the building.
I am risking a barrage of criticism by posting these experiences, but the issue of transients and the habitually homeless has become a safety issue for those who own property and work in this community. There are a number of fundraisers each month in Nevada County to support the numerous services that graciously provide help for transients and habitually homeless, but it appears instead of solving this serious problem it only gets worse.
I believe the situation gets worse because we make excuses for the aforementioned individuals instead of holding them accountable for their actions. The notion that the community should tolerate the threat of our homes and businesses being burned to the ground, our vehicles being broken into, and theft from a church should be OK because the people breaking the law are transients and habitually homeless is wrong.
Local and regional politicians are being held emotionally hostage by those in the community who have decided for all of the residents in Nevada County to excuse the harmful, illegal, and aggressive behavior of those deemed “less fortunate.” Elected officials don’t dare demand the numerous organizations set up to help those in need work together to make this situation better. To do so would risk the ire of many who would label them as some kind of phobic, lacking in compassion, or just plain cruel.
I see the problematic transients and the habitually homeless in this area as schoolyard bullies, able to do what they want when they want.
Chris Enss lives in Grass Valley.
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Is that how I wanted to spend my birthday? Yes and no. The original plan was to take a weekend trip to the coast for a few days of relaxation.