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Readers React: The ridiculous idea that free food motivates people to stay homeless

Two volunteers pass out meals to homeless people in Dana Point.
(Los Angeles TImes)

To the editor: The logic of the Dana Point officials and residents who object to feeding homeless people does not make sense.

Steve Lopez writes that some feel as if providing homeless people with a meal in “enabling” homelessness. If being out in the cold and sleeping on the streets during bouts of rain doesn’t motivate those less fortunate to magically have the resources to provide shelter for themselves, then denying them a meal is not going to have power to get these people off the streets and away from the ritzy neighborhoods of the more fortunate.

Maybe Dana Point should come up with a more progressive way to shelter these people. Enabling and helping are two different things, and providing a meal does not enable.

Chanelle Johnson, Fullerton

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To the editor: I am 84 years old and I have never gone to bed hungry except for back in my military days. Still, it doesn’t take much imagination to think what the night would feel like with an empty stomach.

So it is a bright and hopeful spot that Steve Lopez makes for us with his reporting on the feeding line for the unfortunate in Dana Point. But Lopez could never leave well enough alone, so he tells us about those who for transparently dubious reasons do not want to feed these needy, hungry people.

I have short shrift for them. Do they believe in the teachings of him who said, “Whatsoever you do unto the least of mine, you do so unto me”?

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Don’t mention the loaves and fishes; someone would point out that Jesus didn’t have any improved property in the area.

Rex D. Walker, Los Angeles

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