Readers React

A helping hand for the homeless

To the editor: I read with amazement the article detailing the decision of the Los Angeles City Council. (“Stop punishing the homeless,” Opinion, June 30)

No mention was made about where these thousands of our most vulnerable citizens are supposed to go — except to say that the shelters in the city are full.

Are we truly so heartless that we would visit additional hardship upon people whose lot is already so difficult?

Surely we can summon the better angels of our nature and respond humanely by organizing tent cities until more permanent supportive housing can be established.

Margaret Martin, Los Angeles

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To the editor: By impounding the paltry possessions of the homeless, the city is demonstrating a lack of understanding of and a total disregard for humanity.

Rather than confiscating their belongings and driving them from one area to another, the city needs to formulate a plan for housing the homeless and providing the services that will help them establish better futures.

Sylvia Fogelman, Beverly Hills

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To the editor: I volunteer with Venice Community Housing on a storage project on Ocean Front Walk. We can offer storage to only 26 individuals.

We closed the waiting list after 100 hopefuls applied. Of course, housing the unhoused is the primary goal, but in the interim, these individuals need a place to store their belongings so they can ride a bus, apply for a job (without baggage) and seek medical care.

The issue of “not in my backyard” affects how some council members vote: They fear the loss of political capital, as evidenced by the draconian laws that were recently approved. (“Softening on homeless laws, “ July 1)

The homeless need a voice now more than ever.

Gina Maslow, Venice

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To the editor: Thanks to Sandy Banks for humanizing one young man who is homeless. (“A single homeless voice is heard,” Column, June 30)

Dylan Fowler was quoted as saying: “I'm hoping that just generally people will see me around and know I'm not a problem.”

Indeed, Dylan has multiple problems, but he is not the problem.

Instead of treating people like trash, Los Angeles needs to implement a “housing first” policy, a model that is working in

San Jose, Fresno and other California cities.

Jo'Ann De Quattro, Los Angeles

 

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