Treat home­less like hu­man be­ings

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

Re “Stage set for sweeps of tent cities,” June 24

Can we liken kick­ing the home­less off the street to kick­ing old cans down the road?

In au­tho­riz­ing the seizure of home­less peo­ple’s prop­erty, did the L. A. City Coun­cil con­sider that these are hu­man be­ings and pro­vide al­ter­nate hous­ing for them?

Has ev­ery coun­cil mem­ber vot­ing to kick these poor peo­ple down the street looked any of them in the eye and told them that they are un­sightly and pose a health haz­ard?

Now can city lead­ers look at them­selves in the mir­ror?

Marcy Breg­man

Agoura Hills

Re “Tak­ing on home­less­ness,” Ed­i­to­rial, June 21

In ad­di­tion to the mea­sures out­lined in your ed­i­to­rial, com­bat­ing home­less­ness re­quires pro­vid­ing le­gal aid to the poor. We need to ad­dress this cri­sis with all the tools avail­able, in­clud­ing ac­cess to the ju­di­cial sys­tem.

Le­gal aid at­tor­neys pro­tect the vul­ner­a­ble from un­just evic­tions that can re­sult in home­less­ness, en­sure ac­cess to the med­i­cal care that can pre­vent home­less­ness, and en­force build­ing codes and hab­it­abil­ity stan­dards that pro­tect safe hous­ing for the poor. In ad­di­tion, ac­cess to coun­sel will se­cure for vet­er­ans the ben­e­fits that will keep them off the streets.

A mul­ti­fac­eted ap­proach to this com­plex sit­u­a­tion is needed, and ac­cess to the le­gal sys­tem is a vi­tal part of solv­ing that puz­zle.

David A. Lash

Los An­ge­les The writer is an at­tor­ney spe­cial­iz­ing in le­gal aid ser­vices.

Thanks for your in­tel­li­gent ed­i­to­rial about the plight of home­less peo­ple. Here in Venice, I am em­bar­rassed by and ashamed of the alarm­ing num­ber of res­i­dents who want them to sim­ply take their be­long­ings and go away.

If I was a be­liever, I’d ask what­ever hap­pened to “there but for the grace of God go I”? Most of the home­less are no more dan­ger­ous than any­one else.

Thank you for some san­ity on the sub­ject.

Carol Eas­ton


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