Advocates of 'housing first' deserve attention

To the editor: Mollie Lowery's op-ed article could have been titled, "What L.A. can learn from Mollie Lowery." There are not many people in L.A. that know as much about homelessness as she does. ("'Housing first': What L.A. can learn from Utah on homelessness," op-ed, June 3)

Thirty-four years ago I was trained by her to volunteer in the first overnight shelter in Santa Monica. We next worked together after she founded LAMP, L.A. Men's Place, which soon became just LAMP as women became a more visible part of the population living with mental illness on skid row.


If elected officials in L.A. want to know how to seriously address homelessness, they should deploy resources as Lowery's piece suggests. It is totally unacceptable to have one out of every 226 people in L.A. County homeless.

Mary Brent Wehrli, Palm Springs


To the editor: There's no question that Los Angeles County should envy Utah's efforts to end homelessness. But it's not just the smaller scale of that state's chronic homeless population that has enabled its enviable progress.

Mormon-steeped Utah seems more predisposed to help its homeless. Utah's predominant religious institution, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, functions rather socialistically so that the more fortunate members invariably step right up to aid the less fortunate. That's why one never hears of a Mormon being on welfare.

Whatever reservations non-Mormons like myself may have about Mormon theology, there's no denying that the faith's adherents ardently abide by the golden rule. That inclination is well worth emulating everywhere.

Betty Turner, Sherman Oaks

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook