Author: Thomas

The Second Problem Mr. Caruso Asks for

The Second Problem Mr. Caruso Asks for

Letters to the Editor: Is Rick Caruso’s ‘short-term’ homelessness plan what L.A. needs?

As an avid reader of the Times’ Letters page, I am always amazed at the depth of the issues on which we get letters. These letters are, of course, almost always thoughtful and well-written.

In this case, two letters are worth a particular attention.

The first, published in last Friday’s paper, was written by Rick Caruso, chairman of the Department of Social Welfare and the Public Safety Committee at Beverly Hills Mayor Pro Tem Tom Terrell’s office. He asked for more homeless services — and to take “long-term” and “short-term” homeless from the emergency shelter system.

This, of course, is a classic “short-term” homeless person.

As an advocate for those whose lives are “short-term” and “long-term” homeless, I commend Mr. Caruso for asking for more — not a handout, but more services.

His suggestion is a win-win-win situation, because it addresses two very hard problems at once.

First, we have a real shortage of homeless shelter beds. It’s not just a political issue. It’s a humanitarian issue.

To put it plainly, we have a system that works great for those who can pay, and a system that fails miserably for those who don’t qualify for a government welfare program. Our current system isn’t working.

If we had a system that worked well for everyone, it would require only the housing of one or two or three “short-term” homeless, rather than thousands of homeless. And we would then have enough shelter beds to serve every homeless person that we have today. We need more than just “short-term” “long-term” homeless.

The Second Problem Mr. Caruso, is the same that exists with all “short-term” and “long-term” homeless: Many are there, but can’t find housing. This is the most difficult problem on our society because people are, in theory, supposed to be able to find housing on their own.

Not all homeless people are there because they are not qualified for housing — there are a lot

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