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We have special veterans courts — why not try homelessness courts?

We have special veterans courts — why not try homelessness courts?
LAPD officers tend to a person who has fallen ill on skid row in August 2016. (Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

To the editor: We must end the vicious cycle of homelessness, debt and jail through creative strategies, as demonstrated by the success of ImagineLA, a program that provides permanent solutions to family homelessness.

The revolving door of debt and jail described in the Feb. 4 article, "Huge increase in arrests of homeless in L.A. — but mostly for minor offenses," must end. I propose that we form homelessness courts.

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In these courtrooms, a compassionate judge can resolve tickets in a reasonable manner and offer a panoply of services to these "defendants." Additionally, if someone needs mental health assistance, it would immediately be available.

We have established veterans treatment courts to allow former servicemembers to receive treatment instead of jail time. Furthermore, nonprofit organizations such as the Community Veterans Justice Project work with veterans to ensure that they are aware of all the services they need.

Why not try a Los Angeles County homelessness court and put an end to the revolving door of debt and jail?

Gayle Greco, Los Angeles

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