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Barbara Brown should not have been allowed to die

To the editor: I do not understand why 60-year-old homeless woman Barbara Brown was left on the streets when an El Niño storm was imminent. The law says that anyone who is a danger to himself or herself or a danger to others should be hospitalized for 72 hours. ("Should authorities have ignored a homeless woman's refusal to go to a shelter during a storm?," editorial, Jan. 14)

I went through this with my mother many years ago. L.A. County workers went to her apartment and determined that she had food, clothes and a roof over her head (she was paying her rent), so therefore she did not need to be put in a mental hospital no matter how strange she looked, sounded and acted.

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Three days later she pulled a box cutter on a clerk and was arrested, ultimately to be transferred to a mental hospital.

Someone should have authorized a hold on Brown. She obviously was a danger to herself.

Mike Dreebin, Mar Vista

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To the editor: Brown's story is heartbreaking. I wish that something had been done to save her from herself.

In such a situation there should be something that can be done. Why not have emergency tents, with blankets, pillows and other items that can be given to such a person?

Some people will say if this policy becomes known, homeless people will just take advantage of it. My response: If it saves a life, so what?

Priscilla Lazzara, Chula Vista

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