Readers React: Shaming a homeless mother for having children is cruel and thoughtless


To the editor: Steve Lopez has put a face — actually four little faces — on poverty and subsequent homelessness in his piece about 29-year old Brenda Salgado and her children.

I was dismayed by the critical and highly judgmental responses from readers who wondered why Salgado had any children at all. Lopez discusses some of the dynamics of becoming a parent; his words are poignant: “Poverty is personal, complicated, defiant, irrational. It suffocates and sabotages.” That was what I witnessed from the bench during more than a decade of hearing cases of dependent children as a Los Angeles County Superior Court commissioner.

A solution is on the horizon. Twice our fellow citizens voted to tax themselves so that the city and the county can offer housing to these desperate people. With its A Bridge Home program, the city has sited locations for both shelters and services.


To the people who don’t want these shelters in their neighborhoods, I say we must support such programs or homeless people will be on our sidewalks.

Jewell Jones, San Pedro


To the editor: When Lopez asked a sociology professor why poor women have children, she told him that a lot of liberals ask that question and they’re the ones who bug her the most.

A much more appropriate and productive response would have been: “That’s a very good question. I would be happy to answer it for you.”

Someone who wants to change society for the better must realize that nothing will be accomplished by dismissing the uninformed who are seeking information as liberal hypocrites or conservative detractors.

Pamela Foust, Los Angeles



To the editor: I read with dismay and fury the letters about the woman raising her children in poverty. Every writer blamed the woman for having so many children.

No one blamed the father. At least she is there, trying her best to raise these kids.

One writer even blamed feminism. Do they realize it takes two people to make a baby?

Christina Gilmore, San Diego

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