Advertisement

Caring for the Homeless

August 24, 1987

The Times reported that the L.A. City Council will open a warehouse (Metro, Aug. 15, 22) to shelter some of L.A.'s transients during visit of Pope John Paul II in September. Ordinarily these homeless are sheltered at the Union Rescue Mission. The reason given for their relocation is that the Pope will be spending two nights at St. Vibiana's Cathedral, which is next to the mission, and officials are concerned about security measures.

Is security the sole reason for the move? Could the core issue be a preoccupation to clean up the city for the visit of a dignitary and the television cameras of the world? It certainly is exciting to plan for and welcome the arrival of the Pope. However, the Gospel Jesus preached told about how to dirty one's hands directly caring for the poor. Would the city of Los Angeles be embarrassed if the Pope saw and reached out our homeless?

The media has already listed the lavish menus which are being prepared for the Pope at every stop of his visit, the designs for worship space, right down to the dollar cost per hour of stay in each city.

But the poor are hidden, the victims of a vote as to where they can spend two evenings while there is no room for them at the inn. Further, if a warehouse is able to be opened for two nights, why not for the other nights and days of the year also?

MICHAEL PONTARELLI

Anaheim

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|