To the editor: Article after article in the Los Angeles Times covers the ongoing crisis of tent encampments, where people with nowhere else to go set up space to survive for one more day. As long as we continue to use the term “homeless housing” when speaking of solutions, however, we will continue to be a big part of the problem.
People without roofs over their heads are not a separate subclass of the human family, a subclass whose housing needs are different than our own. We must focus our efforts on whatever it takes to move our citizens off the streets into existing rental housing that is made more affordable, and by replacing the hundreds of single-room occupancy units that have disappeared by adapting existing and often empty office buildings and warehouse space into studio apartments.
We must take these actions now. This type of rental housing is not called “homeless housing.” It is called housing, and it is a basic human right.
Tanya Tull, Los Angeles
The writer is founder of the homeless advocacy group Partnering for Change.
To the editor: Removing tents along the sidewalk would certainly make my walk to the grocery store and public transportation much less of the obstacle course that it has become.
As a senior, I am now confronted on the sidewalk by more than just cyclists and scooter riders. Alas, along my route, I am reminded that homeless people and cyclists not only have rights, but that they have also often built very creative and extensive structures. Consequently I, at 75 years old and under 5 feet tall, face yet another challenge in my daily effort to keep myself balanced and in good health.
I find the challenges require energy and patience, which I seem to possess in diminishing supply.
Ruth Kramer Ziony, Los Feliz