Letters to the Editor: Mike Bonin called outrage over a leaked email a ‘political stunt.’ He’s wrong
To the editor: Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin said the reaction to the leaked email from one of his staff members to the city attorney’s office about a homeless man outside their Westchester office was a “toxic political stunt.”
My response transcends allegiance to any political party, ideology or narrative. As someone with a front-row seat to this devastating humanitarian crisis, I wish only to tell the truth.
Hannah Levien, Bonin’s staff member, told columnist Robin Abcarian that she wished she had used a service provider to help the unhoused man, an ability I wish residents had.
For years, I have been imploring Bonin’s office for more services because the crisis in my neighborhood is horrifying. I even met with local service providers and begged for them to work with me because I knew who needed help, but to no avail. I was told to use an app to report unhoused people in dire need, but it was useless.
Levien is fortunate to have the city attorney and service providers at her disposal while the rest of the city suffers helplessly.
Liz Bennett, Los Angeles
To the editor: The unfortunately thoughtless response of Bonin’s senior staff member to her frustration over a homeless man who had been lingering outside their district office shows how susceptible even those who likely think of themselves as kind and caring (and may actually be so most of the time) are to seeing homeless people as somewhat less than human.
Not only is this completely out of synch with Bonin’s humane approach to finding solutions to the heartbreaking problem of entrenched homelessness, it also reminds me of one of the painful realities that continue to hamper his progress: Were it not for the active resistance of some well-housed, highly vocal residents of his district to placing temporary emergency housing anywhere within shouting distance of where they live or work, the challenges he faces would be significantly less onerous.
Arlene Pinzler, Redondo Beach
To the editor: Abcarian’s column illuminates an often-overlooked aspect of the homeless issue in L.A. County. She writes of a homeless man who when offered housing chose to live on the street because he didn’t want to “follow strict rules about curfews and wake times.”
We should certainly provide housing opportunities, support services and safe, sanitary campgrounds to homeless people. But the other 10 million of us who live in this county should not be forced to abandon our enjoyment of our beaches, sidewalks and parks to a small minority of people who reject shelter.
We can be compassionate and still expect at least a small degree of personal responsibility.
Jim Sims, Los Angeles
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