The plight of the homeless in coastal North County was the focus of Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear’s speech May 4 during the 24th annual Mayor’s Interfaith Community Prayer Breakfast.
At the annual San Dieguito Interfaith Ministerial Association who was instrumental in organizing this event and Pauline Colvin at the City of Encinitas for all of her help.
“I’d like you all to reflect for a moment on how this day began for you,” Blakespear told attendees at the event, co-organized by the city and the San Dieguito Interfaith Ministerial Association. “You probably woke up early and left the comfort of a nice warm bed, you most likely had a hot shower, brushed your teeth, combed your hair, and put on clean clothes before stepping into your car to drive here.
“Now imagine how this day began for those in our community, not too far removed from ourselves, who are homeless, living on the streets right here in our Encinitas community. When they awoke this morning, they did not step out of a nice cozy bed, rather they picked themselves up off the cold and damp ground. A nice warm shower did not await them. Nor did a toothbrush, comb and clean clothes. Most of the things we take for granted are a luxury they can’t afford.”
Blakespear participated in San Diego County’s annual “Point in Time” count of the local homeless population in January, which began at 4 a.m. “The air was cold and damp and I was thankful for my cup of hot coffee,” Blakespear said. “It wasn’t long before we came across a homeless person sleeping on the dirt ground, huddled under old blankets. Every person I saw sleeping under blankets, hidden beneath a bush or wrapped in a make-shift shelter caused my heart to ache with sadness.
“When I think about the combination of unfortunate circumstances that must exist for someone to live unsheltered on the street, I recommit the city, in partnership with our community organization the Community Resource Center and Interfaith Community Service, to do what we can to create a better future for our most vulnerable community members. We have some passionate and committed people in our community – caring and compassionate individuals like you – who want to make a difference for their neighbors in need. And with your support, I know we can continue to help those who need it the most – our neighbors in need of shelter, safety, food, and care to survive.
“So on this Annual Day of Prayer – when we have a great diversity of needs and personal desires that we pray for – let’s keep those less fortunate at the top of our mind. Working together we are stronger. And collectively we can solve intractable problems like homelessness with the right attitude and the highest level of commitment.”