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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: The Trump administration tells California a hard truth about homelessness

President Trump with supporters at LAX
President Trump greets supporters after arriving at LAX on Air Force One on Sept. 17.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I agree that our state’s quixotic effort to solve the homelessness problem, though well meaning, has been an abject failure as pointed out by Robert Marbut, the Trump administration official whose agency addresses homelessness.

Philosophically I do not understand why a homeless person should have the inherent right to live wherever on public property he chooses when many hard-working taxpayers cannot. Since many homeless people have psychiatric or substance abuse issues, simply providing them shelter without adequate medical care and a path to earn a living can never work.

It appears to me that many homeless people would be better off if they were placed in a larger facility where they could obtain treatment for psychiatric and addiction issues and have access to vocational training to get them back on track. Perhaps we should even consider treating homelessness as threatening to an individual as suicide and pass laws that would allow for temporary confinement in a treatment facility.

Simply building housing units here and there is like adding a few pebbles to the breakwater when a tsunami is coming.

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John T. Chiu, Newport Beach

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To the editor: I have as much regard for the Trump administration as I do foot odor, but the president’s homelessness czar is correct in his conclusion that feeding and enabling people who live on the streets is not working.

In the movie “Field of Dreams” the voice whispered, “If you build it, he will come.” In L.A. it’s, “If you feed them, they will stay.”

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Chuck Heinz, West Hills

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To the editor: Marbut is clueless as to why we have a greater problem with homelessness than other states.

Although this problem has become overwhelming, one major reason is the weather, which is much more tolerable here than in most other states and attracts people from across the nation. California is also a much larger state than most others.

So, let’s see if he can come up with a way to deal with this problem without incarcerating homeless people.

Dean Blau, Lake Balboa


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