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LAMP Quandary

January 21, 1988

The conversion of the 70-year-old, three-story building at the corner of Sunset and Echo Park into a self-sustaining residential hotel for stabilized and supervised mentally ill adults is a sound, humane idea. Alas, just as the need for the erection of more prisons is widely recognized, as soon as a site is chosen, cries and protests are immediately heard: "Not in MY backyard!" as Jose del Omo, owner of La Economica, and other unnamed business people are pleading now concerning plans of Los Angeles Men's Place to occupy a building in their neighborhood. This mentality smacks of greed. Echo Park is my neighborhood, too, and I don't mind. I would prefer the homeless and mentally handicapped to be safe, housed and cared for in a residence than to be wandering the streets, pushing their overflowing carts and sitting or lying against the building walls. I suggest that the latter case is most detrimental to attracting potential clients. The Times should perhaps enlighten its readers and name those merchants who oppose the residential proposal; I, for one, would avoid doing business or shopping at those places.

MICHELE MOONEY

Los Angeles

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