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Callous Effort to Make the Homeless Disappear

January 03, 2003

I used to work with the homeless, and I would like to comment on the laws proposed by Palmdale and other cities to criminalize homelessness, making it illegal to sleep on the ground or in cars (Dec. 26). What are these people thinking?

With the cheapest single apartment costing at least $600 (at least with utilities) and minimum-wage people taking home around $800 a month -- and people living on unemployment and disability insurance allowances and Social Security pensions of as little as the entire cost of an apartment -- what are these people supposed to do? Levitate in the air to sleep? Get out of their cars and sit on bus benches all night without sleep, where they will be robbed and raped or worse? How can they ever get jobs if they are always arrested for something they can't control? The people thinking up laws like this are probably the same people who would punish a sick child for throwing up or confine a child with an IQ of 85 to his room with schoolbooks and no TV for failing algebra.

C.B. Hutchinson

Glendale

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