I live on Irving Road in Santa Clara. While walking down to Santa Clara Square by way of Newcastle Street, I passed a group of enthusiastic men, who I assume to be Santa Clara Church members, ripping out all the shrubbery lining the walk on the north side of the church. When I asked them why they were doing this, they replied that homeless people were in the habit of sleeping on that walk and the police had suggested they remove the shrubbery to keep these undesirables from being able to hide behind it.
“They are dirty and they use drugs,” said one of the shrubbery removers. And, either he or another of his fellow workers continued with, “There are plenty of places around where they can sleep.” I couldn’t help but think of Dickinson’s Ebenezer Scrooge: “Are there not poor houses?”
Now, I am not, and never have been, a Christian, but I think I know enough about the tenets of Christianity to say without a doubt that if that Jesus so lovingly worshipped in this church had been alive today and aware of the situation, he might have suggested they put some cots, or at least a few donated blankets, on the walk behind those now nonexistent bushes, so that the homeless could have slept a little more easily.