Letters to the Editor: Being homeless at L.A. Union Station isn’t a crime

A security guard stands at the front entrance of Union Station.
A security guard stands at the front entrance of Union Station, where most janitors have reported being threatened or assaulted while doing their job.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: As a leader in an organization that works tirelessly across California to engage and support our homeless neighbors, I am deeply troubled by the fear mongering in your article about crime and abuse at Los Angeles Union Station.

This narrative promotes the idea that somehow homelessness itself is a crime, and further endangers the most vulnerable in our community. Painting all people experiencing homelessness as violent criminals with mental health challenges only fuels a stigma that already blocks them from obtaining the support and housing they so desperately need.

Our homeless neighbors are statistically far more likely to be the victims of crime and violence than perpetrators.


We are all deeply troubled by crime and violence. How does putting an equal sign between crime and homelessness help anyone? Drawing assumptions and adding to stigma only makes things worse and will never serve to solve this crisis.

Stephen Fiechter, Los Angeles

The writer is senior director of programs for Los Angeles at People Assisting The Homeless.


To the editor: My husband and I spent a wonderful week in New York City last month. We took the subway from Grand Central Station every day, including the day of the Brooklyn subway shooting.

The station was very clean. The restrooms were clean and safe. The trains were clean and felt safe. The restaurants in that station and others were thriving — clean and safe. Police were present throughout the station.

The few homeless people in the station were being tended to by assistance teams.

If New York City can succeed, why can’t Los Angeles?

Kathy Stecher, Upland