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Irvine's Concern for the Homeless

November 15, 1987

In response to Martha Abell's letter ("Irvine Beauty and Homeless," Nov. 8), I urge Abell to look to her own city to see what they are doing for the homeless.

Since she is not a resident of Irvine, she has a lot of nerve chastising the citizens of this city for not wanting to cram 50 homeless people like cattle into 50 kennel runs at a dog shelter, which will cost about $327,000 to renovate (it only cost $350,000 to build in the first place). These funds are Abell's federal tax monies, too.

Irvinites have a lot of beauty in their hearts, so much so that a task force appropriately named Compassion Plus was formed in September and was working on obtaining donations to generate money to buy low-cost condominiums for the homeless families of Irvine.

To pack them into a renovated dog shelter 50 yards away from another similar building housing 50 barking dogs and underneath the flight path of the El Toro Marine base with high noise levels and 35,500 flights a year, an area where the City Council previously had declined any residential construction, is unconscionable and leaves these unfortunate people no dignity.

Unless Abell has attended the last three Irvine council meetings in which this issue was debated, and unless she has studied the problem fully as many of our citizens have, she has no right to impugn our city, its citizens or its programs.

This is not, and never has been, a "dogs or people" issue. This is an issue of helping people down on their luck, giving them hope for the future by continuing to assimilate them throughout the community of Irvine in a decentralized manner, which is a current ongoing program.

PAT SABETTA

Irvine

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