I was an impressionable 18 year old when I first came to Los Angeles. Driving through Skid Row was sort of a "tourist attraction" and I can remember saying judgmentally . . . "It's awfully sad . . . but it's their fault. If they weren't so lazy, they would be working."
After all, I had been raised in a little hamlet of less than 200 people. We grew up barefoot and poor. Most of our parents were illiterate to the English language because the majority of them were Asian immigrants. But because of hard work, education and goal setting, more than 60% of the children went off to higher education. So . . . really, there were no excuses for these people on Skid Row.
However, the years have gone by. I am twice that age now, and much wiser. The plight of the homeless in Los Angeles and the rest of the nation is of capital concern. We are not all born equal. And to say, I did it, why can't you? . . . is a sophomoric attitude on life.
The Senate recently approved a measure that will provide approximately $900 million in aid for the homeless. The bill, when approved by the House and signed into law by the President, will provide for shelter and improve the general physical and mental health of the homeless. In addition, it offers churches and other nonprofit organizations the opportunity to develop programs for this growing element of our society.