Letters to the Editor: Sadness over ‘life-changing’ Skid Row Housing Trust’s struggles

A man pushes his walker in Los Angeles' skid row.
A man pushes his walker in Los Angeles’ skid row, where one of the largest housing providers faces financial collapse.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I had the honor of working with the Skid Row Housing Trust and its chief executive Mike Alvidrez in 2008 during my last year as an employee of Los Angeles County. I was able to tour a number of its buildings, both older single-room occupancy hotel stock and the newer buildings. (“One of skid row’s largest housing providers faces financial implosion,” Feb. 7)

The Trust does amazing work and has been responsible for changing the lives of thousands of formerly unhoused individuals.

I had the opportunity to hear from its “ambassadors,” residents who wanted visitors to know how much the Trust had done for them. Simply by moving into one of the Trust’s buildings and having a unit to call their own and by taking advantage of all the services and scheduled activities, they now felt they had lives worth living.


Seeing this truly life-changing nonprofit’s work come to an end is very sad.

Constance Sullivan, Palos Verdes Estates


To the editor: No surprise. Many of us in the real estate business saw this coming.

Building new, “architecturally striking buildings” (translation: expensive) instead of renovating low-cost-basis older projects and conserving capital for operations only accelerated the crash. Other operators will be in the same position in the next year or two.

Spending $500,000-plus for a new studio unit — even more for larger units — is not sustainable or based on common sense.

Kevin Dretzka, Los Angeles


To the editor: When Rick Caruso was running for mayor of Los Angeles, he talked a lot about the unhoused and how he had a plan to solve the problem of homelessness.


Now that the Skid Row Housing Trust is in financial trouble, he has a chance to put his money where his mouth is. Surely he can afford to spend a few of his billions to help keep people from being put out on the street.

Patricia Colburn, Pasadena