Letters to the Editor: Homeless, addicted, pregnant — how can a failed metropolis like L.A. presumably repair this?

Mckenzie Trahan stares off as her boyfriend rests his hand on her pregnant belly near their tent in Hollywood.

Mckenzie Trahan and her boyfriend in Hollywood in 2018.
(Christina Home / Los Angeles Occasions)

To the editor: I’ve lived in L.A. for 40 years and I’ve by no means seen homelessness as unhealthy as it’s now. I veer from compassion and sympathy to anger and disgust over the state of affairs. (“‘Hollywood’s best,’” July 13)

America is a wealthy nation, nevertheless it’s additionally a spot the place it’s straightforward to turn into poor, homeless and invisible. On this capitalist society, we glance away from these individuals. That’s a tough cultural barrier to beat.

You are reading: Letters to the Editor: Homeless, addicted, pregnant — how can a failed metropolis like L.A. presumably repair this?

I used to offer cash to homeless individuals routinely, however just a few years in the past I ended. I just lately gave a person $20, however in any other case, I’m similar to most individuals on this metropolis: I’m uninterested in seeing them, their stuff and their habits.

What to do although? The issues which have induced this disaster are many and rooted in actions and insurance policies of the previous. We handed bond measures for extra housing and companies, however the quantity of assist the unhoused require is astounding. Every particular person has so many points, and simply studying this story demonstrated how a lot assist Mckenzie wanted, significantly as a mom.

Los Angeles is failing. Like many different individuals, I’m prepared to go away. I’ve been watching it sink below inept management for years now.

I actually recognize this reporting. Kudos for the superb work.

Tania Nordstrom, Chatsworth

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To the editor: Nobody particular person’s story can symbolize all of the aspects of homelessness, however your three-year reporting give attention to Mckenzie Trahan painfully illuminates most of the gaps in Los Angeles’ social assist system. As a service supplier, we frequently meet individuals in spite of everything different security nets have failed.

Service varieties are topic to often-changing political winds and funding alternatives. Mckenzie’s harrowing story can also be a narrative about poverty’s intergenerational impacts and society’s rejection of people that wrestle with substance use and psychological well being challenges.

This in-depth story amplifies a voice that’s virtually at all times lacking in conversations about homelessness: somebody with lived expertise. These tales sit with me, and I remind myself how laborious our group members work to assist our individuals the most effective we are able to.

It’s essential to do not forget that extra can at all times be completed and that we have to make investments extra in supportive companies, not much less.

Jennifer Hark Dietz, Los Angeles

The author is chief government of Folks Helping The Homeless.

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To the editor: Reporter Gale Holland’s transferring story about Mckenzie Trahan, a younger, unhoused girl who has struggled with years of homelessness, reveals the human value of our area’s difficult, uncoordinated and unaccountable response to the disaster.

The burden typically falls on unhoused individuals to navigate a sophisticated labyrinth of well-intended packages, generally working at odds and infrequently as one system. Mckenzie sees this so clearly.

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Folks experiencing homelessness want our assist, compassion and love. I’m afraid if we aren’t trustworthy about how we’ve got failed individuals like Mckenzie, we won’t get any nearer to ending homelessness, particularly for essentially the most weak.

Miguel Santana, Los Angeles

The author is president and chief government officer of the Weingart Basis and served as chief administrative officer for the town of Los Angeles.

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To the editor: I’m amazed at how a lot persistence and stamina it took for Mckenzie to get so far as she did within the authorized and homeless outreach techniques. For housed individuals, simply getting by the day coping with bank card corporations, banks, the IRS, colleges, utilities and the like require nice stamina.

Now, think about if we needed to cope with that type of stress with no residence and public transit at our disposal.

At no level in your article was there a point out of Mckenzie being supplied any type of mentorship. One-on-one mentorship is the one approach to assist individuals like her who’ve by no means had any type of stability of their lives or had any alternative to learn to maintain themselves.

All of us endure from L.A.’s rot, however some greater than others.

Paula Del, Los Angeles

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