Opinion

Readers React: Telling business owners not to prevent homeless encampments — only in L.A.

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People sit on planters intended to keep homeless encampments away from a sidewalk in downtown Los Angeles.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: In order to save their businesses, some owners are placing planters and fences in front of their stores, without permits, so homeless people cannot set up encampments there.

In response, the Los Angeles City Council passes a motion calling for the removal of illegal fencing that restricts free passage in the public right of way.

Are you serious? Do the people who pitch their tents in front of these businesses have permits? Have they asked for permission from the city to leave their trash and belongings in the public right of way?

No wonder tax-paying citizens are leaving California. This is pathetic.

Eileen Barnett, Canoga Park

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To the editor: One line in this article caught my attention: The city has “created a working group to study how the city’s permitting process could be updated to better address such issues.”

Is this a joke?

We do not need another study. Actually, we do not need more money. All we really need is leadership and the will to achieve a solution. Unfortunately, we do not have enough of either.

It seems to me that my City Councilman Mike Bonin is among the few actually working toward a solution, and he is taking the most flack. That is what leaders do. They get out in front.

Kevin Minihan, Los Angeles

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To the editor: I predict that the next wave of homelessness will not involve people priced out of the rental market, nor will it be those who are one paycheck away from being homeless, nor drug addicts, nor mentally ill individuals, nor former prisoners, nor even out-of-staters who come to Los Angeles, and particularly Venice, because they know they can get away with just about anything.

The new wave of homelessness will come from people who lose their businesses because their customers don’t feel safe patronizing them.

Perhaps instead of shaming people for trying to restore their neighborhoods from the crime and filth that have been allowed to fester all over Los Angeles, or for trying to save their livelihoods (thereby not adding even more people to our streets), the animosity should be aimed at Mayor Eric Garcetti and the City Council for incompetence.

Carol Reynes, Venice

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To the editor: Since a large percentage of our homeless are sick, wouldn’t it be more responsible for people to take care of them than try to prevent encampments?

Making homeless people feel unwanted merely aggravates their condition.

Sydney D. Vinnedge III, Los Angeles

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