Sunday, May 25, 2008

On May 25

1986, approximately 5 million Americans held hands for 15 minutes across America for the cause of helping the homeless. The path stretched for more than 4,000 miles from New York City to Long Beach, California. This hand-holding came to be known as 'Hands Across America.'

Have you ever imagined what it feels like to be homeless? Last night I had a dream that I had to sleep in the street out there in the cold... I woke up in consternation. Walking down the streets in Los Angeles, you will see many used-to-be decent people now homeless... I do not have the exact statistics but last time I was clerking at the LA City Attorney's Office in 2005, the number was appalling and was growing... We spend a lot of money on the police to go out and harass people, by issuing really frivolous citations, such as loitering or under the influence in public... I get to defend many people in those 'criminal' prosecutions. Strikingly we criminalize every human act... Of course, the same homeless people are issued citations by the cities and are ordered to pay fines! Can you believe it? Out of despair they turn into drug addicts and alcoholics. We could spend the same money on getting people off the streets and treating them!

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