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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Flouting the law to help homeless people is not the stuff of stable societies

Gary Gallerie
Gary Gallerie with one of the 13 vans he owns in Venice.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Columnist Robin Abcarian describes a man in Venice renting out 13 vans in which homeless people can live. She states plainly that this business is not legal, something he apparently knows too.

I am not making any judgment as to the nature of this man’s activities. However, what is happening to our society if laws can be broken with such impunity?

Here is a man describing what he is doing and implying that he knows it is illegal. Furthermore, Abcarian prints his name and the newspaper even publishes his picture. What happens now? Does nobody do anything? Do the police authorities not do anything?

Is breaking the law so common and so accepted that this is now done? What is the point of having laws if they can be broken with such impunity?

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Robert Schechter, Los Angeles

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To the editor: I live in the San Fernando Valley, and on certain streets you will find RV after RV parked for days at a time. They are usually older vehicles, and it’s obvious that people are living in them.

While it would be considered a nuisance to some, I don’t think it’s the worst idea in the world for helping homeless people. They have a roof over their heads, hopefully a bed and some storage for all their belongings. At least they are not sleeping on the streets.

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I wonder if the city could provide a large lot where these vehicles could be parked long term so they do not have to be moved every few days. It could be a place with bathroom facilities and maybe even some form of security. The city could look into obtaining more used vehicles to provide to some homeless people who cannot afford them.

This is a way to provide some form of housing, and it could be done quickly and cheaply.

Gary Askenaizer, Sherman Oaks

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To the editor: I hope Gary Gallerie expands his business to the San Fernando Valley. Any underpass beneath the 101 Freeway would be a good start.

And, should he decide to run for mayor or City Council, he has my vote.

Jean Anker, Woodland Hills


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