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'Restrictive' Shelters for the Homeless

September 15, 2003

Kudos to the city and county of Los Angeles for keeping the "winter" shelters open year-round ("Shelter Experiment a Big Success," Sept. 8). The more safe places there are for people to stay, the better. However, it is a little sad that so many people opt for those facilities that are not "restrictive."

Following the rules is a part of life. Many of the homeless find that when they accept some rules, some self-discipline, they begin to progress toward a life off the streets. In fact, one of those quoted in the article talks about how those using the city facility were starting to learn to obey the rules.

Emergency shelter is critical, as provided by agencies such as ours and the city. Even more critical, however, is the long-term care provided by those of us involved in such programs. Overcoming addictions, employment with living wages and affordable housing are components of the three-legged stool that, although never ending homelessness, will contribute greatly to substantially reducing it.

Marshall McNott

President

Los Angeles Mission

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