Letters to the Editor: Follow your dreams, but not to L.A. if you’re young and poor

Loxk Calhoun, left, and Bri Meilbeck near downtown Los Angeles. They became homeless quickly after arriving from Detroit.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Columnist Nita Lelyveld’s gripping account of a young couple’s quick descent into homelessness after arriving in Los Angeles tells us that people still come here hoping for a better life, but it’s harder than ever to find a place to live, and there’s a mismatch between salaries and rents.

Those who “trust the market” would tell us that fewer people will move here (because it’s unaffordable) and long-timers will leave (in part because of homelessness impacting us all), easing the housing availability crisis. But long-timers aren’t leaving in the numbers feared, and newcomers like the couple in Lelyveld’s column cannot easily leave.

The amount of subsidized housing taxpayers can provide is very limited, and older housing is no longer “filtering down” as it once did. So what can we do?


One solution is to urge banks and builders to supplement traditional housing with new, much less costly prototypes, such as “micro units” and the shared homes referenced by Lelyveld.

Dan Constant, Manhattan Beach


To the editor: More columns like Lelyveld’s, please, and less political posturing and virtue-signaling in the L.A. Times.

Woke digs at former Vice President Joe Biden, self-approving excoriations of President Trump’s venality, and righteous puff pieces about other candidates will not energize exhausted readers sick of politics and journalism as usual.

We need our humanity awakened; we don’t need our outrage to become more corrosive and poisonous. Lelyveld’s modest, empathetic focus on the real experiences of real people refreshes and nourishes.

That may not seem like much, but in this era it’s everything. Change happens one deep human connection at a time. Being more human, not less, is the only way the broken city and country in which we live will eventually be repaired.


Jo Perry, Studio City


To the editor: The reality of this story is that two people without real job prospects came to a city because someone they didn’t know misled them about work. They were left without a home or enough money, and they had no real alternatives.

Even my liberal heart says too bad, go home, and come back when you have something real.

This story is couched as that of a couple following a Hollywood dream, a concept that that burned out decades ago. With all of the real trauma endured by immigrants and others, this story is a waste of newspaper space.

Michael H. Miller, Los Angeles