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Opinion

Readers React: L.A. must reinvent itself as a place that does not foster homelessness. Shelters won’t do that

LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 16, 2018: Mayor Eric Garcetti delivers his State of the City address in L
Mayor Eric Garcetti delivers his state of the city address in Los Angeles City Hall on Monday.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Ending homelessness is important, and it cannot be addressed with a quick fix. (“Garcetti’s plans for homeless shelters raise as many questions as they answer,” editorial, April 17)

Just as important as establishing and maintaining education and job training programs so homeless people can find meaningful work are programs to create decent and manageable housing for people, keeping that housing well maintained, and caring for those who can’t help themselves. The long-term goal ought to be to create an entire city that has decent and affordable housing, safe and clean streets, and effective health and safety programs.

Creating a city that cares for its homeless people and keeps its neighborhoods clean and safe is important not just because Los Angeles will soon have some company (the world) coming for the 2028 Summer Olympics; rather, this is the right thing to do.

James Berger, Torrance

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To the editor: With all the news about homelessness and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s idea to finance shelters around the city that provide temporary housing to homeless people, I have a suggestion.

Why not take the half-built Target store in Hollywood and repurpose it as a homeless shelter?

The building is standing empty and useless. The developers can have a tax deduction and the lawsuits could end. Think how many rooms it could provide. A central kitchen and showers could be provided.

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The building would be usable before it totally goes into disrepair, and many people would have a place to live.

Christi Moore, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Garcetti is touting Band-Aid solutions to the housing crisis while at the same time cozying up to the developers who will surely provide excellent support for his presidential run.

As Los Angeles catapults toward being unlivable for all but the wealthiest, those shelters Garcetti proposes will fill with residents whose rents soar at rates outpacing their incomes. Until he (or someone else) addresses skyrocketing rents and home prices, nothing will change and we will build endless shelters for the working people who can’t afford a place to live.

Dawn Halloran, North Hollywood

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