She knows L.A. home­less­ness

Los Angeles Times - - SUNDAY OPINION -

Re “What L.A. can learn from Utah,” Opin­ion, June 3

Mollie Low­ery’s op-ed ar­ti­cle could have been ti­tled, “What L.A. can learn from Mollie Low­ery.” There are not many peo­ple in L.A. that kno was much about home­less­ness as she does.

Thirty-four years ago I was trained by her to vol­un­teer in the first overnight shel­ter in Santa Mon­ica. We next worked to­gether af­ter she founded LAMP, L.A. Men’s Place, which soon be­came just LAM Pas women be­came a more vis­i­ble part of the pop­u­la­tion liv­ing with men­tal ill­ness on skid row.

If elected of­fi­cials in L.A. want to know how to se­ri­ously ad­dress home­less­ness, they should de­ploy re­sources as Low­ery’s piece sug­gests. It is to­tally un­ac­cept­able to have one out of ev­ery 226 peo­ple in L.A. County home­less. Mary Brent Wehrli

Palm Springs

There’s no ques­tion that Los An­ge­les County should envy Utah’s ef­forts to end home­less­ness. But it’s not just the smaller scale of that state’s chronic home­less pop­u­la­tion that has en­abled its en­vi­able progress.

Mor­mon-steeped Utah seems more pre­dis­posed to help its home­less. Utah’s pre­dom­i­nant re­li­gious in­sti­tu­tion, the Church of Je­sus Christ of Lat­ter-day Saints, func­tions rather so­cial­is­ti­cally so that the more for­tu­nate mem­bers in­vari­ably step right up to aid the less for­tu­nate. That’s why one never hears of a Mor­mon be­ing on wel­fare.

What­ever reser­va­tions non-Mor­mons like my­self may­have about Mor­mon the­ol­ogy, there’s no deny­ing that the faith’s ad­her­ents ar­dently abide by the golden rule. That in­cli­na­tion is well worth em­u­lat­ing ev­ery­where.

Betty Turner

Sher­man Oaks

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