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More Dignity for Homeless

March 20, 1988

Times staff writer Tracy Wilkinson referred in her article, "Talks on Venice Homeless Focus on Food Center" (Times, March 10), to a "feeding station" for hungry transients. I find such terminology offensive because I associate it with animals, not people.

The homeless are men, women and children, persons , who are suffering the lack of some very basic needs: shelter and, oftentimes, food. In responding to their need for and right to food, it is important to think of meeting this need in a dignified and human manner.

Most people in our society eat a meal sitting down at a table. It seems to me that a restaurant is a logical site for offering a meal to a homeless person. In such an ambiance, a person can experience a respite from the struggles of survival on the street and gain some warmth, human companionship and the sustenance of a hot meal. Such a place and such a service would indicate that we, as a society, acknowledge the homeless as persons with inherent dignity.

It is painful enough to be without a home. Can we not reduce this suffering by offering a hot meal in a restaurant rather than setting up "feeding stations?"

MARILYN T. SCHAFER

Los Angeles

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