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Joel John Roberts

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OPINION
August 12, 2004
Re "Budget Cuts Hit County's Mentally Ill," Aug. 10: The sad consequence is that people will not only be "caught in the cracks," they will fall through the cracks. They will end up roaming our streets, knocking on the doors of homeless services for help because Los Angeles County needs to trim its budget. A penny-wise, pound-foolish move. When our county is already overwhelmed with homelessness -- and has become the homeless capital in America -- we can't afford to contribute to this human dilemma simply to save a few bucks.
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OPINION
July 2, 2006
Re "Homeless in life, nameless in death," June 25 I thought a pauper's grave was a thing of the past until I read about the destinies of L.A.'s homeless people who die on our streets. What's most disturbing is that these people with names but no homes are buried anonymously, all in one plot. This should remind us that the quest to solve homelessness is a communitywide effort, not just the government's responsibility. Maybe if we start by honoring the homeless who have died on our streets with dignified memorial services, we might be more motivated to honor the living with dignified housing.
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OPINION
July 2, 2006
Re "Homeless in life, nameless in death," June 25 I thought a pauper's grave was a thing of the past until I read about the destinies of L.A.'s homeless people who die on our streets. What's most disturbing is that these people with names but no homes are buried anonymously, all in one plot. This should remind us that the quest to solve homelessness is a communitywide effort, not just the government's responsibility. Maybe if we start by honoring the homeless who have died on our streets with dignified memorial services, we might be more motivated to honor the living with dignified housing.
OPINION
August 12, 2004
Re "Budget Cuts Hit County's Mentally Ill," Aug. 10: The sad consequence is that people will not only be "caught in the cracks," they will fall through the cracks. They will end up roaming our streets, knocking on the doors of homeless services for help because Los Angeles County needs to trim its budget. A penny-wise, pound-foolish move. When our county is already overwhelmed with homelessness -- and has become the homeless capital in America -- we can't afford to contribute to this human dilemma simply to save a few bucks.
OPINION
August 27, 2002
Why does the renovation of downtown's skid row area have to be a clash between developers who seek an urban renaissance and low-income people who are displaced by gentrification (Aug. 24)? It is too bad that those who want to make our city a better place to live and work sometimes end up displacing those who struggle to find a simple roof over their heads. Is this really a struggle between the haves and have-nots, the rich and the poor? I don't think so. This is more like everyone fighting for bread crumbs on the floor.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 9, 2001
"The Ripple Effect in L.A.: Increased Homelessness" (Commentary, Oct. 3) is accurate. Social service agencies are facing a harrowing dilemma of the need for increased services and the reality of decreased funds. With the recession and the looming effects of Sept. 11, more and more blue-collar workers are being laid off, resulting in an increase in homelessness. With funds being sent outside of L.A., the funding sources are drying up. This is a disturbing quandary that can potentially bring tragedy to our own L.A. streets.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 2, 1999
The death of Margaret LaVerne Mitchell, the homeless woman shot by the LAPD, is a tragedy. Especially when our Homeless Access Center is just blocks away from her place of death. Three Department of Mental Health social workers work at our center to help mentally ill homeless people access much-needed services. Our street outreach teams are on call to serve any homeless person on the street at any time. Just blocks away--Mitchell's life could have been saved. Ironically, we're trying to save our center's current home from a developer who is forcing our center to move.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 13, 2000
Re "Police Arrest 15, Cite 70 in New Skid Row Crackdown," Dec. 9: The crackdown on homeless people on skid row by the police will do nothing more than scatter homeless people into other communities. Unless we help them deal with substance abuse issues, provide mental health care, give them an emergency bed and help them find a job, they will end up in another part of our community--Hollywood, Santa Monica, Pasadena or Long Beach. Arresting homeless people is not the path out of homelessness.
OPINION
June 17, 2001
Re "Educators Are Split Over Separate Schools for Children of Homeless," June 12: I taught third and fourth grade for many years for the Seattle public schools. In the state of Washington, teachers are required by law to lead the class in the Pledge of Allegiance every morning. I told my principal that it was against my religion (the only permitted exclusion) to lead the pledge as long as I had a student who was living in a car or sleeping in a shelter, which, in an inner-city school, was all too common.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 11, 2000
Each day of the MTA strike homeless people are hurt. Each day, dozens of homeless people enter our PATH Job Centers for the first time. Since the strike, dozens are unable to attend job training. Each day, homeless people at PATH try to look for jobs. They can't, without a bus to take them. Each day, sick homeless people can't take a bus to the local clinic. Each day the MTA buses are down, homeless people are down too. Please end the MTA strike. JOEL JOHN ROBERTS, Exec. Dir. People Assisting The Homeless Los Angeles Re "Why Aren't Buses Missed?
OPINION
August 27, 2002
Why does the renovation of downtown's skid row area have to be a clash between developers who seek an urban renaissance and low-income people who are displaced by gentrification (Aug. 24)? It is too bad that those who want to make our city a better place to live and work sometimes end up displacing those who struggle to find a simple roof over their heads. Is this really a struggle between the haves and have-nots, the rich and the poor? I don't think so. This is more like everyone fighting for bread crumbs on the floor.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 9, 2001
"The Ripple Effect in L.A.: Increased Homelessness" (Commentary, Oct. 3) is accurate. Social service agencies are facing a harrowing dilemma of the need for increased services and the reality of decreased funds. With the recession and the looming effects of Sept. 11, more and more blue-collar workers are being laid off, resulting in an increase in homelessness. With funds being sent outside of L.A., the funding sources are drying up. This is a disturbing quandary that can potentially bring tragedy to our own L.A. streets.
OPINION
June 17, 2001
Re "Educators Are Split Over Separate Schools for Children of Homeless," June 12: I taught third and fourth grade for many years for the Seattle public schools. In the state of Washington, teachers are required by law to lead the class in the Pledge of Allegiance every morning. I told my principal that it was against my religion (the only permitted exclusion) to lead the pledge as long as I had a student who was living in a car or sleeping in a shelter, which, in an inner-city school, was all too common.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 13, 2000
Re "Police Arrest 15, Cite 70 in New Skid Row Crackdown," Dec. 9: The crackdown on homeless people on skid row by the police will do nothing more than scatter homeless people into other communities. Unless we help them deal with substance abuse issues, provide mental health care, give them an emergency bed and help them find a job, they will end up in another part of our community--Hollywood, Santa Monica, Pasadena or Long Beach. Arresting homeless people is not the path out of homelessness.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 11, 2000
Each day of the MTA strike homeless people are hurt. Each day, dozens of homeless people enter our PATH Job Centers for the first time. Since the strike, dozens are unable to attend job training. Each day, homeless people at PATH try to look for jobs. They can't, without a bus to take them. Each day, sick homeless people can't take a bus to the local clinic. Each day the MTA buses are down, homeless people are down too. Please end the MTA strike. JOEL JOHN ROBERTS, Exec. Dir. People Assisting The Homeless Los Angeles Re "Why Aren't Buses Missed?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 2, 1999
The death of Margaret LaVerne Mitchell, the homeless woman shot by the LAPD, is a tragedy. Especially when our Homeless Access Center is just blocks away from her place of death. Three Department of Mental Health social workers work at our center to help mentally ill homeless people access much-needed services. Our street outreach teams are on call to serve any homeless person on the street at any time. Just blocks away--Mitchell's life could have been saved. Ironically, we're trying to save our center's current home from a developer who is forcing our center to move.
OPINION
October 18, 2008
Re "Homeless and burned to death," Opinion, Oct. 14 Much has been written about the death of John McGraham, by people who knew him from the neighborhood and by people, like me, who didn't know him but who are outraged by this horrifying act of brutality. As the leader of a nonprofit focused on ending homelessness and poverty and as a citizen of Los Angeles, I am saddened to my core by this murder. We as a community must end the crisis of homelessness in L.A. County. Joel John Roberts points out that state funding for such critical services as shelters, food banks and transitional housing is disappearing because of the budget shortfall.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 30, 2004 | Carla Rivera, Times Staff Writer
The mayors of four big U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, asked Congress on Thursday for $115 million for next year to combat homelessness, which they said is at crisis proportions. The mayors are seeking to create permanent housing for the chronically homeless and those with disabilities. They also want to provide them supportive services such as mental health and substance abuse treatment.
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