After a two-hour effort to help a homeless woman I recently met outside of Starbucks, I read the July 24 editorial about putting a name to the regional homeless crisis with renewed insight.

For a majority of the homeless, there is a “name”: alcohol and drug addiction.

The solution: If we can tax tobacco and sugared drinks to reduce related health issues, we can add a tax on producers, distributors and wholesale purchases in California and consider a local tax on all alcoholic beverages sold on the Coastside. Further, we could require a valid ID for alcohol purchases no matter the age. California has the highest rate of homelessness in the United States and the ever-growing wine industry is not without some fault.

The additional funds must be specifically earmarked for detoxification centers for the homeless, and also for temporary housing for families who are now homeless because of drugs and alcohol.

Prohibition does not work, but those who make obscene profits from their products should pay the cost of the damage from abuse.

— Pat Connolly, Half Moon Bay

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