LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The crime of homelessness
Homelessness is indeed a crime. The most shameful and culpable criminals are politicians who make a law against being homeless.
The worldwide deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill and the nationwide failure to budget for community treatment centers were big factors in the increase of homelessness. California’s Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Act which said that the mentally ill may not be treated against their will, before it was changed this year by Assemblywoman Helen Thomson, frustrated social workers and law enforcement agencies. Add to that the lack of safety nets to guarantee constitutionally the human right to a home, in terms of legislation for affordable housing, and you have the entire picture of the morass of homelessness.
Each of us is affected in some way: frustration about the enormous problem, apathy, repugnance rather than compassion, volunteering to apply band-aids.
We hold our elected leaders to a higher standard. Government of the people, by the people, for the people begins here. We pray that in the new year the Holy Spirit of the Universe will fill our leaders with zeal to inspire us to seek creative solutions and relief to all sides.
Run dates: 2002-12-13 - 2002-12-27