Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Roots of Homelessness

October 18, 1994

Apparently, Americans aren't the only ones lacking a true understanding of the homeless ("Gimme Shelter: The Plight of the Homeless in Lands of Plenty," World Report, Oct. 4). While more housing may alleviate homelessness in developing and formerly communist countries, housing won't cure the underlying causes of homelessness in the West--substance abuse, a lack of job skills and a shattered self-esteem.

In a landmark 1992 Gallup/Los Angeles Mission survey, the homeless themselves called overwhelmingly for more job training and drug treatment programs, not housing.

Whatever the cause, the best insurance for helping people in the U.S. and other Western nations to stay off the streets permanently is long-term rehabilitation. Teaching people to live productive lives is a lot more effective than hiding behind shortsighted solutions like masses of low-income housing. Rehabilitation is the one solution that really works.

MIKE EDWARDS, Director

Los Angeles Mission

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|