Sit-down strategy targets transients

LA JOLLA – Esther Viti isn’t about to stand by and watch transients take over public benches along the streets of her beloved La Jolla.
She’s prepared to sit on it. Literally.

Viti wants to recruit volunteers to sit on benches in La Jolla’s business district so the homeless will have to keep on walking.

“Right now, a bum can sit out in front of a store, and they can do it all day, day after day,” she said.

Viti oversees a program sponsored by Promote La Jolla, a nonprofit merchants association, that coordinates the placement of benches donated by the public. Some donors become upset when they see transients passed out on benches they’ve dedicated to a loved one, Viti said.

Deborah Marengo, president of Promote La Jolla, said merchants and residents alike are concerned by what they see as a growing number of homeless in La Jolla.

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