Challenges in dealing with the homeless

Accounts of quality of life issues discussed at the June 20 City Council meeting elicit several thoughts. This is a micro city. Those moving here should perform due diligence to investigate the nature of their new neighborhoods, rather than complain.

New London has long had problems with racist perceptions. If minority children congregate and play on a playground and sit on a wall on Williams Street, that is a gang. If white children sit on a wall on Pequot Avenue, perhaps smoking joints or drinking beers, urinating and vomiting, that is not newsworthy.

The leading cause of quality of life issues was closing the mental institutions. New London inherited a massive contingent of former patients of these institutions, now labeled "homeless." Homeless advocates are praised and efforts are made to attract them from the region.

Many (most?) homeless are dually-diagnosed, both mentally ill and addicted. If our ordinance against liquor sales to habitual drunkards were enforced, many problems would cease. If the council required video cameras with Internet feeds for liquor stores, citizens and police could monitor compliance. Norwich long ago declared war on group homes. New London welcomes them, paying the price.

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