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Homeless Crisis

December 31, 1986

Another year has thundered along and still the homeless are unfed and unsheltered. Except for the dedicated efforts of some individual charity organizations, no massive drive has been initiated by the government to cope with this horrendous problem.

You have only to go to the various soup kitchens to watch tired mothers bringing in little children; or feverish and miserable men and women shivering from a night spent on the ground near a railway track; or listen to a couple who had been sleeping in their car, with no money for gas or food. They often need a place to wash and clean up so they can look for work. Above all you should look them in the eye when they ask you, "How would you like to have no place to be able to go to the toilet?" as one young man said to me in despair.

This is a crisis situation, comparable in these persons' livs to an earthquake, a volcanic eruption, or even the ravages of war. Why is the government not mobilizing to meet this human disaster just as they mobilize for war or overseas relief? Is it because there is no money left in the treasury to erect emergency shelters and provide food for these suffering people? Then let us apply to the United Nations Emergency Relief Fund. If we are not too proud to allow our people to sleep on the streets, then why should pride stop us from calling for help from abroad?

SYLVIA EASTON

Irvine

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