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Homeless Dilemma

July 15, 1988

I applaud Johnston for getting the real message of homelessness across. The have-nots, can-nots and will-nots have too long been lumped into one gigantic category labeled "homeless," and dealt with as one entity instead of the fragmented pieces of the problem which they truly are. They need to be recognized as individuals with unique needs, not a faceless class of society.

Even if we built enough homes to house every person in America, the homeless problem would not be solved because primarily "homeless" is a misnomer. It does not convey the heart of the problem--men, women, teen-agers, even families--attempting to cope with underlying causes such as chronic unemployment, substance abuse and mental illness. Nor does it address the other part of the problem--reasonable access to the already available human services that will relieve some of their problems.

MARK HOLSINGER

Director

Los Angeles Mission

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