There's no denying that these are hard times for lots of people, and homelessness is a tragedy that hits thousands. Individual stories can be complicated, though, and as I wrote on Sunday, once you've been out there for years you can lose perspective.
On Sunday, I answered reader requests by telling them they could send checks to the Himmels in my care at The Times. Since then, I've come up with a better plan.
Paul Freese of Public Counsel has agreed to meet with the Himmels, and, if they're willing, to offer legal advice on housing and benefits. And he also referred me to Imagine LA, a nonprofit that describes itself as being "dedicated to making Los Angeles a city where no child sleeps on the street."
Jill Bauman, executive director of Imagine LA, has agreed to manage a fund for the Himmels. "Imagine LA's goal," she said, "is to quickly move homeless families into permanent housing and provide the structure to nurture, train and mentor them to create habits that will help them sustain their independence and even thrive."
I'll pass on to Imagine LA any checks that have already been sent to me directly. In the meantime, donations can be made online at www.imaginela.org or mailed to:
Imagine LA -- the Himmel Family
6300 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048