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Opinion

Readers React: The least we can do for homeless people is give them bathrooms

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A homeless woman camped near Los Angeles City Hall.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I don’t have a public health doctorate from an elite university, nor am I a community activist or leader. But I do know this after reading about squalid encampments drawing rats to L.A. City Hall: Homeless people need bathrooms, and they need them now.

The bathrooms need to be maintained daily and continuously monitored. Cameras could be used to keep tabs on these facilities and protect homeless individuals while they are using the bathrooms.

Los Angeles is not England in the 12th century. But if we do not act now, we risk having to deal with citywide disease and pestilence.

Many will regard my comments as hyperbolic. Maybe, maybe not, but who wants to find out? Not me, so I’d settle for, say, a few thousand port-a-potties, to be distributed among the places where homeless encampments exist.

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This is not the answer to the homelessness crisis, but it’s a start.

Robert M. Cohen, Beverly Hills

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To the editor: It is amazing to me that Los Angeles has been left to become a trash heap. City officials have in my opinion denied it up until now or have walked around with blinders on.

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City Hall had to hire a pest control team to discover that human waste, rotting food and trash left in the streets likely caused its rat infestation. Anyone who works or lives in downtown L.A. already knew this from just walking around the area.

Eric Hartman, Porter Ranch

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