To the editor: In addition to the measures outlined in your editorial, combating homelessness requires providing legal aid to the poor. We need to address this crisis with all the tools available, including access to the judicial system. ("Where is L.A.'s urgency in the homelessness crisis?" editorial June 21)
Legal aid attorneys protect the vulnerable from unjust evictions that can result in homelessness, ensure access to the medical care that can prevent homelessness, and enforce building codes and habitability standards that protect safe housing for the poor. In addition, access to counsel will secure for veterans the benefits that will keep them off the streets.
A multifaceted approach to this complex situation is needed, and access to the legal system is a vital part of solving that puzzle.
David A. Lash, Los Angeles
The writer is an attorney specializing in legal aid services.
To the editor: Thanks for your intelligent editorial about the plight of homeless people. Here in Venice, I am embarrassed by and ashamed of the alarming number of residents who want them to simply take their belongings and go away.
If I was a believer, I'd ask what ever happened to “there but for the grace of God go I”? Most of the homeless are no more dangerous than anyone else.
Thank you for some sanity on the subject.
Carol Easton, Venice
To the editor: Can we liken kicking the homeless off the street to kicking old cans down the road?
In authorizing the seizure of homeless people's property, did the L.A. City Council consider that these are human beings and provide alternate housing for them?
Has every council member voting to kick these poor people down the street looked any of them in the eye and told them that they are unsightly and pose a health hazard?
Now can city leaders look at themselves in the mirror?