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Real Malibu residents aren't the anti-homeless, rich NIMBYs they're made out to be

Real Malibu residents aren't the anti-homeless, rich NIMBYs they're made out to be
Jack Brown, 37, looks through a trash can for food on a beach in Malibu on May 15. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: For the umpteenth time, the Los Angeles Times has mischaracterized the Malibu I know. ("The human catastrophe of homelessness hits the shores of Malibu, and some try to offer a helping hand," May 16)

Yes, Malibu is beautiful, but most people don't want to live here because, it has been said, we're too far from L.A. We have few rich neighbors; most of us are retired teachers, firefighters, lifeguards and nurses who live frugally. Wealthy people tend not to "live" here, but rather buy beachfront property that they sometimes visit.

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I no longer can go to my beloved library because it is not safe. Homeless drug addicts linger inside and out, and men sometimes drop their pants while drunk, staggering and urinating on the building. There are a growing number of homeless encampments in the canyons where cooking fires are a constant safety threat.

If you don't live here full time, you can't possibly describe Malibu accurately.

Susan M. Tellem, Malibu

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To the editor: No, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors did not "decide" to serve meals and provide services to homeless people at an abandoned Malibu courthouse. The county merely approved a request from the city to use our Civic Center as a centralized venue to resume feeding the people without places to sleep.

This is the same Civic Center where Malibu funds a labor exchange for day workers, next to our library. It's also the same place where a homeless encampment sparked a fire that nearly took out several homes last winter, by the way.

"Very few services" in Malibu? This city funds outreach workers and helps the Santa Monica and Venice shelters. Koreatown, Irvine and other communities are saying no. Malibu volunteers and the city are saying here's how we can help.

Hans Laetz, Malibu

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