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Kasem and Homeless

October 22, 1989

I read in the Oct. 1 Hot Property column that homeless activist Casey Kasem and his wife, Jean, purchased a home in the Holmby Hills for $6.8 million.

Naturally, a $6.8-million residence is a minimum necessity and quite normal, especially with all the homelessness and poverty the Kasems and others whine about.

Kasem could go down as the greatest humanitarian in U.S. history by making the supreme sacrifice: selling the $6.8-million place and buying one valued at a mere $1 million. Then Kasem could take the $5.8-savings and make a cash contribution to each and every homeless person in Southern California.

With this, the homeless could rent apartments or houses, and get off the streets. Then, with a place of their own, they could go out and look for and obtain employment. (There are plenty of available jobs.)

I believe, Kasem knows that even if he were to undertake this magnanimous philanthropy, homelessness would still be with us, as it has been throughout history.

Many of the homeless are mentally ill and are in need of institutionalization. Others, enjoy the freedom and irresponsibility of being homeless. They'd all take the money, and there would still be homelessness.

Then, what would happen to this "cause"? Obviously, Kasem is not cut from the same cloth as New Orleans millionaire Pat Taylor, who was recently profiled on "60 Minutes." Taylor is single-handedly offering to pay full college tuition to any New Orleans school child who stays in school, gets Bs and stays out of trouble with the law. Pat Taylor puts his money where his mouth is. Casey Kasem merely fills America with insincere liberal rhetoric.

JERRY HERMES

San Diego

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