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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: NIMBYs are worse for L.A. than the homelessness crisis

Mulholland Fountain
A man swims in the Mulholland Fountain, near the site of a proposed shelter for homeless people on the edge of Griffith Park.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Just as the only things worse than our lying, bullying, corrupt president are his cult-like followers, the only things worse than the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles are the knee-jerk NIMBYs who oppose any remedy that threatens their cozy confines.

This applies to the Venice residents who resisted a homeless shelter there and to the current opponents of a shelter in Griffith Park.

To assert, as the latter group does, that the homelessness problem is a “condition” and not an “emergency,” therefore removing the legal justification for expediting construction, is shameful sophistry in the face of a “Hooverville"-like crisis happening at a time of record low unemployment.

It’s true that sheltering a small portion of the homeless population will not solve the problem, but at least it’s a start. Until more systemic solutions are in place, building temporary shelters will at least help ameliorate a calamity for which, as with climate change, doing nothing is not an option.

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Vincent Brook, Los Angeles

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To the editor: I recall that in the 1940s and ’50s there was a temporary village of low-priced Quonset huts in Griffith Park for veterans and their families.

At the time of that project, was there all the opposition that we are now seeing whenever temporary homeless shelters are proposed? Did that village violate the terms under which Griffith Park was granted to the city?

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Somehow the city found it in its heart to offer a helping hand to people who were in need. It is unconscionable that we have people dying on our sidewalks because there is no shelter.

Jean Koch, Los Angeles

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To the editor: As a resident of the area surrounding Griffith Park, I go on record as not being a NIMBY.

A site that should also be considered for homeless housing is the state park on the fringes of downtown Los Angeles initially referred to as the “cornfield.” It has bathrooms and is adjacent to railroad tracks, light commercial buildings and warehouses, and is situated near many services.

This location is a no-brainer, and it puzzles me that it was not developed as permanent housing for homeless people years ago.

Diane McDowell, Los Angeles


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