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VLSP Letter to the Editor: Really Helping Homeless

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Really helping homeless

Editor -- As an attorney working with homeless people in our community, I found Chronicle reporter Kevin Fagan's excellent series both encouraging and troubling. I applaud the mayor for taking several good strong steps to address the problems of homelessness. In particular, the focus upon the need to provide support to those moving from the street into housing.

It is not enough to find housing for people -- they also need help in retaining their housing. In our work in eviction prevention, we often must help both landlords and tenants build strong relationships. Homeless people who haven't worked for a long time aren't always immediately ideal tenants. Nor do landlords always know how to work with people with mental disabilities. Active intervention is required, or our tax money will be wasted as people are placed in hotels only to be evicted a month later. We lend our expertise to ensure both parties succeed.

Tiela Chalmers

Homeless Advocacy Project

Bar Association of San Francisco

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