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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Get homeless humans off the sidewalk. But scooters, they’re OK

Homeless on the sidewalk
A child walks past a man sleeping in front of the YMCA in Koreatown on Aug. 22, 2019.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: City leaders, led by Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, want to further limit where homeless people can sleep on the sidewalks of Los Angeles. Isn’t this grand of them.

I guess it’s still OK to clutter our sidewalks with electric scooters. The use of these devices endangers pedestrians (which include seniors and the physically challenged), taxpayers who have funded these sidewalks. I can barely walk down a street without these scooters blocking my path.

How shameful that we value scooters more than people. Please do not reelect any of these city leaders.

Peter David Harris, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Kudos to O’Farrell for coming up with a plan to deal with the takeover of the city’s streets by homeless people. While the L.A. Times rightly points out the sob stories out there, there are many other folks who simply take advantage of the kind hearts and wallets of do-gooders.

I am part of a crew that manages the Ballona Freshwater Marsh across from Playa Vista. We regularly clean up trash and bathroom waste from people who think they are just fine as they are, have resisted city services, and on occasion steal our equipment.

Why work when you have free housing and food, and have my crew as your personal wait staff to clean up your waste?

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Perhaps the primary source of this crisis has been misdiagnosed. These people have been protected to death, literally.

Edith Read, Orange

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To the editor: The lack of basic human regard is appalling when it comes to Los Angeles’ homeless population. The problem is the failure of society to protect and to provide for those in need.

Some of these people have served our nation and are veterans, many are victims of families facing catastrophic health costs putting them in insurmountable debt, and some are physically and mentally incapacitated. Others are the working poor whose lives depend on daily availability of work.

These are not people to be shunned or discarded; rather, they are our responsibility to feed, shelter and protect. If there had been an earthquake or a fire, agencies would provide food, shelter, potable water and sanitary items. This is a crisis as much as any other natural or man-made disaster.

Shuffling these humans off the sidewalk is not the answer but only adds to their desperation. We are obligated, as humans, to alter this tragedy and to prevent another one in the future.

Betty Seidmon-Vidibor, Los Angeles


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