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Don't blame Angelenos for resisting the homeless shelters they voted to fund

Don't blame Angelenos for resisting the homeless shelters they voted to fund
Venice residents opposed to a new homeless shelter on the site of a vacant Metropolitan Transportation Authority lot speak to L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti at a town hall event on Oct. 17. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Steve Lopez points out that while Angelenos voted decisively to tax themselves to pay for housing and services for homeless people, many do not welcome shelters located in their own neighborhoods. These positions are not contradictory.

Though residents of Los Angeles feel compassion for those in need and generously authorize taxes that fund housing and services, they nevertheless want to protect the quality of life in their own neighborhoods. Therefore, the burden of proof is on the city to assure residents that their new neighbors will be carefully chosen — that these people will be homeless families with children, the elderly and infirm who cannot survive on the streets, and the working poor with employment in the area.

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Neighborhoods with new shelters should be carefully monitored for any increase in complaints and crime — and new residents who are not good neighbors should be replaced.

George Crowder, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Of course local homeowners are screaming and shouting about housing for homeless people near them. Their homes stand to lose considerable value. Much of their life’s savings are invested in those homes.

The plan embraced by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, to put new housing for homeless residents in every City Council district, has homeowners in a state of high anxiety. The plan is a real threat to their financial well-being.

You bet they are going to scream and shout against it.

Gene Pomerantz, Marina del Rey

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