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L.A. is a city with empty lots and unused buildings. Use them for homeless homes

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To the editors: It is more than ironic that a big city like Los Angeles cannot solve homelessness. ("Small houses? Secure parking? Let's give homeless people alternatives to the sidewalk", editorial, November 25)

Apparently insurmountable problems have been addressed in the past. Peter Ueberroth, for example, used his entrepreneurial spirit to make the 1984 Olympics a resounding success, and the 10 Freeway was quickly rebuilt after the Northridge earthquake in 1994. Homelessness is also soluble.

There are many semi-finished commercial and residential properties, empty older buildings and empty lots scattered throughout our city. Residential areas and city officials are often at odds finding out how they can create more homes and alleviate high rents that lead to eviction and homelessness.

And yet those empty properties have not served anyone for years. This does not make sense. Owners have the right to make decisions about their own property, but when years pass and a property becomes a nuisance to the neighborhood and wasted space, our laws should address that.

Recently a vacant building in Van Nuys burned and a nearby homeless camp had to be evacuated. That building could have been brought to code years ago and turned into a hideout, but now it is no good for anyone.

We are better than this.

Genie Saffren, Los Angeles

..

To the editors: There are two types of homeless people that your reporters have emphasized over the years.

The first type are people who are temporarily homeless; they are valid and have no major medical problems. The second type includes people such as Nathaniel Ayers, whose life and struggle with mental illnesses have been extensively treated by columnist Steve Lopez.

It is naive to think that both can be helped with the same policies and programs. Temporary homeless people can be helped with the proposed transition homes and other services. The second type is a completely different ball game. For example, Ayers has received mental health care over the years, and when Lopez last wrote about him, he was in a closed facility.

The community clinics that were supposed to help people with mental illness after the state psychiatric hospitals were closed were never built. Because they can't go anywhere, these & # 39; patients & # 39; live wherever they can.

The simple solution is to build large psychiatric hospitals to serve these people. Otherwise our leaders keep throwing money in the wind.

Charles Blankson, Fontana

..

To the editors: Homelessness is a symptom of our society that enables the rich to undermine labor laws and lacks a real safety net for people who lose their jobs when a factory or Sears store closes or when they fall ill.

When poor World War I veterans camped in Washington in 1932, President Herbert Hoover sent American soldiers to clean them up. When they returned to the White House with Franklin D. Roosevelt, the veterans were given three meals a day and a clean campsite. These were the same people and with the same problems, but they received two completely different answers.

We currently have too many Hoovers at all levels of government in this country.

Bruce Stenman, Prunedale, Calif.

..

To the editors: The house in Hollywood Bridge has already apologized to more than 20 original residents for not adhering to a very limited number of simple rules. They are back on the street.

These people have effectively refused the available childcare. And yet the city will do nothing about them if they continue to live on the street and violate numerous laws.

You wonder what the L.A. Times Editorial Board would propose for those who refuse to park in safe areas or to move into small houses or to relocate to government sanctioned pitches. Would the L.A. Times support arrests? Does the city even have the means to arrest or detain those who are resistant to the ideas of the editors?

Jeffrey C. Briggs, Hollywood

..

To the editors: Reading the extensive coverage of the L.A. Times about the housing shortage in Los Angeles and the horrific crisis surrounding homelessness, I am shocked and sad.

In the printed edition of November 23, I read an article about ensuring that homeless people stay warm and dry during the rainy season. In the same issue, there were two major sections that advertised real estate, none of which could be used to solve the problems of affordable housing and homelessness.

What has to happen? Perhaps the 2020 elections will help solutions; if so, it will only be a start. We still have a long way to go.

Donna Wilkinson, Los Angeles

..

To the editors: We need new ideas to reduce homelessness? Take a look around.

There is plenty of room to accommodate people in the Westside Pavilion, and there is also the unfinished Target store on Sunset Boulevard and Western Avenue in Hollywood. Newly built apartment buildings have vacancy signs.

Michael Haas, Los Angeles

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