Letters to the Editor: Once again, L.A. disgracefully shoos away homeless people

·2 min read
LOS ANGELES, CA-July 27, 2022:Joanna Swan, right, holds a sign showing that she is against a ban on homeless encampments near schools and daycare centers, while sitting with others also against the ban, inside Los Angeles City Hall, where members of the Los Angeles City Council were to vote on whether to approve or not approve the ban. The vote was postponed for 6 days. (Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times)
People show their disapproval of Los Angeles' ban on homeless encampments near schools and day-care centers at City Hall on July 27. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Apparently, to be homeless is to lose one's citizenship, to become a football for feckless politicians to boot around because they have not the slightest idea of how to handle this problem. ("L.A. cracks down on homeless encampments near schools, over protesters' jeers," Aug. 2)

For starters, let me suggest that the city of Los Angeles set aside part of Griffith Park as a camp (it can be done) with water, sanitation and security. If nothing else, it would get families with children off the streets and allow service providers better access to those in need of assistance.

Then, the city can continue to construct housing these people can afford.

For too many years, municipal authorities throughout the county (and the country) have dithered and fumbled with the homelessness situation. These unfortunate people wander the cities, set up tents or park their RVs where other citizens complain about their existence.

Living on the street is not living in a supposedly enlightened country.

Carleton Cronin, West Hollywood

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To the editor: I was interim principal of Selma Avenue Elementary School in September 2020. Selma had a very competent, conscientious and caring staff that educated about 150 students. I often wondered how the Los Angeles Unified School District could keep the doors open with its enrollment.

Veteran teachers said the school had at one time more than 900 students, but due to high-rise apartments and condominium development, the quaint two-bedroom homes were gobbled up. Thus, the decline in enrollment.

A second factor impacted the decline: There were homeless encampments near the school, and unhoused individuals would often wander down from Hollywood Boulevard.

Selma Elementary, home school for Carol Burnett and Marilyn Monroe, closed its doors after the 2021 school year due to decline in enrollment.

I commend LAUSD Supt. Alberto Carvalho, staff and parents for their appearances before the City Council to ask for new encampment restrictions near schools. And, of course, it was edifying to read that the City Council chose to safeguard our youngsters.

Tom Kaminski, Manhattan Beach

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.