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LAMP Quandary

January 21, 1988

Regarding the Jan. 14 story on the Los Angeles Men's Place, "Shelter Hands Echo Park a Moral Quandary": While it is indeed a tragedy for the clients and patients involved, the director, administration and consultant involved deserve every sting, arrow and frustration they get. A community group should have been attempted as soon as LAMP decided to buy the building.

As a communication, education and support activity, such a group should have been as much a part of positive program development as anything else. Someone will always object to anything, but such a prospective approach would have gone a long way in preventing and defusing negative reactions. Mental "health" professionals keep reinventing this lesson, an arrogance being involved.

Over many years and many involvements, I have found people generally quite receptive when they are sought out, given a full explanation, and asked to be involved and contributors. Stigma maintenance is mostly from our side, not theirs. Nor do they have to be "well-educated" to be responsive. LAMP should not have had to have a community group forced into the picture. We talk one thing and do another. Why shouldn't the public be suspicious and resistant? Did LAMP learn nothing from the reality of its downtown experiences?

PAUL H. LOGAN

Los Angeles

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