Arthur Saginian | Is Homelessness a ‘Problem’?

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

I read Thomas Oatway’s letter (Nov. 4) regarding Gary Horton’s solution to the homeless “problem.” It was just another set of impractical (considering the politics of the state of California) or unfundable (considering the refusal of people like me, and even the state, to pay for it) measures. 

I would suggest Mr. Oatway read the text of the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act of 1967. Involuntary commitment to the sort of institutions of which Horton and Oatway speak is not legal in California. That’s one of the main reasons we no longer have state hospitals for the mentally disordered. Another reason is that they cost too much to operate. Besides, our state Legislature is too busy figuring out how much money to give our population of illegal immigrants (those potential future Democrats) and jobless (thanks to COVID-19), so the mentally challenged homeless will have to get in line behind them. 

Finally, the treatment of patients in such facilities will lead to lawsuits, which will, in turn, lead to their re-closure.

No, Messrs. Horton and Oatway, there is no solution to the homeless “problem.” It has been a part of life, and it will continue to be a part of life, for as long as a good number of us are living in these structures we call houses. And while we’re here, I have my own question: Why is homelessness considered a “problem”? They’re just people who don’t fit into our “civilized” construct. How inconvenient for us, aren’t they? And how selfish of us to consider them a “problem.” 

Arthur Saginian

Santa Clarita

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