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Homeless in the Streets

February 25, 2001

* "Skid Row Exiles Create Sidewalk Village" (Feb. 19) failed to point out the huge negative impact this homeless encampment has on the residents, businesses and employees of this neighborhood. These homeless individuals have chosen to live on the sidewalks instead of going into shelters, missions or SRO hotels--facilities that the public sector has spent millions of dollars to create. Since when do the rights of the homeless, who choose to violate the law day in and day out, take precedence over the rights of the hard-working people and residents in this community?

It is not right that residents and employees have to walk a gauntlet of syringes, urine and feces to their homes and places of work because a few lawless individuals want their freedom "to drink, smoke and use drugs." This is a civil society and all of us must follow some rules. The elected officials in downtown Los Angeles must stop burying their heads in the sand and acting as if we don't have an intolerable homeless problem. We should all be ashamed!

TRACEY LOVEJOY, Exec. Dir.

Central City East Assn.

Los Angeles

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