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Antonovich on the homeless

Re “When equal isn’t fair,” editorial, July 27

You incorrectly state my position on homeless shelters. Shelter facilities are vital, but without fundamental reform of the state’s mental health laws, the homeless are locked in a broken system of warehousing without healing. A long-term solution requires state legislation to end the “revolving door” system that denies necessary medical treatment or rehabilitation.

Hardly “allergic” to shelters, I recently presented two $1-million grants to Pasadena’s Union Station facility and the Lancaster Homeless Shelter. For the Santa Clarita Valley, I initiated an emergency winter shelter providing comprehensive homeless services. Each of these effective public-private partnerships is a result of working with the community’s approval -- not ignoring residents’ views and jamming projects down their throats. Additionally, my efforts secured nearly $1 million for the Weingart Center on skid row, I directed hospitals to stop patient dumping, and I supported $2 million for the Beyond Shelter program. The homeless deserve effective, dignified assistance in becoming healthy, productive citizens. Anything less is immoral and irresponsible.

MICHAEL D. ANTONOVICH

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Los Angeles County Supervisor


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