Recently, The Times reported that Los Angeles County paid attorneys very well for the service of fighting increases in General Relief benefits. And now, The Times reports that Gov. Wilson would like to transfer more health and welfare programs to the counties (April 25). How can we trust counties to administer these programs in a responsible manner when counties such as Los Angeles spend tax funds on combatting legitimate, fundamental improvements in programs that are already under the county's jurisdiction?
In 1985 and 1986 I worked for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services' homeless demonstration project in the downtown Skid Row area. My duties were to find food, shelter and to provide various other services for homeless adults who, for a variety of reasons, did not qualify for General Relief.
Did the county fund the food and shelter to which I referred my clients? For the most part, no. I had to send my clients to the same privately funded missions and soup lines that ask for donations in this newspaper. Many committed social workers in the project provided, and continue to provide, invaluable services. The project is an oasis in a desert where bureaucracy prevails over compassion. It is not enough.
The county and the state continue to play Ping-Pong with responsibility over the most basic services. This irresponsibility, in combination with further funding cuts, contradicts Wilson's proud proclamation that his administration will focus on preventive services.
CHRISTINA NUNEZ DAW