There's a New Sticker Circulating in OB - NBC 7 San Diego

There's a New Sticker Circulating in OB

It's in response to a controversial sticker that has divided a community



    When you pass a homeless person in the street, what are your first thoughts? Do you feel sorry for them? Do they seem menacing? Do wish they weren't there?

    It's an emotional subject that is dividing many in Ocean Beach where some say the amount of homeless people is creating a dangerous atmosphere.

    An estimated 200 people came out to a community forum at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Ocean Beach on Tuesday night try to find some solutions.

    Many of the people who attended the meeting are residents or business owners of Ocean Beach, including Craig Klein.

    There Is a New Sticker Circulating in OB

    [DGO] There Is a New Sticker Circulating in OB
    An estimated 200 people came out to a community forum in Ocean Beach.
    (Published Wednesday, July 7, 2010)

    He owns a law office on Newport Avenue and says there is a new breed of transients called "travelers".

    "They are young and they travel from city to city," said Klein.  "They can be aggressive with their panhandling, they appear to have a general lack of respect for the community."

    Klein says travelers will often use the outside of his building as a restroom.

    Wearing the Message: 'Don't Feed Our Bums'

    [DGO] Wearing the Message: 'Don't Feed Our Bums'
    Controversial stickers being sold in Ocean Beach have been joined by hats and t-shirts.
    (Published Wednesday, June 23, 2010)

    "Instead of going to a public restroom, they just go on the side of buildings," he said.

    During the meeting, people were broken up into small groups.  They talked about the good and bad things about OB, and what should be done to improve safety.

    They also talked about the sticker that ignited the homeless controversy.  In recent weeks, a local business began selling a sticker that reads: "Please Don't Feed Our Bums."

    OB Outrage: Don't Feed Our Bums

    [DGO] OB Outrage: Don't Feed Our Bums
    Ocean Beach has a longstanding reputation as a tolerant, freethinking community. But when it comes to rowdy drunks and druggies, the welcome mat is wearing thin.
    (Published Friday, June 11, 2010)

    The sticker appears to have divided the community, according to Michael Flentie.  The OB resident was once homeless and says the community needs to show more compassion, not resentment.

    "Homelessness is a part of life, and the world we live in," said Flentie.  "It might get worse or it might get better, but everybody's going to need to help."

    A new sticker was revealed at the forum that depicts a man shaking the hand of a transient. Words, including "tolerance" were printed along the edges of the sticker.

    Several so-called "travelers" also attended the forum, including James Taylor.  He says only a small group of travelers are causing problems in Ocean Beach.

    "This has given the whole majority a bad name," Taylor said.

    Organizers of the forum are planning to hold another community forum in the near future.  They hope the input from the forums will help improve safety in Ocean Beach.

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