CALEXICO, Calif. -
A war veteran is among the three homeless people remembered at Wednesday’s memorial in Calexico.
Brown Bag Coalition Co-founder Maribel Padilla said, “this is a way to remember them. They’re gone but not forgotten.”
Calexico Council Member Bill Hodge called it a wakeup call for the community.
“At the city council we need to come up right now, within days, a place, a cooling place or a solution to help these people get out of the heat when they feel overwhelmed by the heat,” Hodge said.
Council Member Jesus Escobar said homelessness is more than just a city problem.
“We as a community need to be a lot more active in the lives and the participation of these people,” Escobar said.
He said the city is not totally responsible for the homeless problem.
“I don’t think city council is responsible. I don’t think the city is responsible. I think we as human beings have an obligation to support fellow human beings. This is not a city issue. This is really a human issue,” Escobar said.
Gilbert Aguilar died of heat exhaustion. Jose Valle was struck by a car as he crossed a street. And veteran Alexander Joseph Rodriguez was run over by a car as he slept in a parking lot.
Padilla said the homeless are the city’s concern.
“Isn’t the community the city’s problem?” Padilla said.
Hodge said an immediate solution is needed, as well as a permanent one.
“Right now because of the tragedy, we have an emergency,” Hodge said.