They're signing because...
Their comments resonate with compassion, frustration, idealism and moral indignation.
From Canoga Park to Coronado, Santa Fe Springs to San Francisco, Long Beach to Lompoc, more than 11,000 people throughout Los Angeles County and the state have so far signed a petition urging Gov. Jerry Brown to declare homelessness in California a state of emergency. The LA County Board of Supervisors has unanimously called for such a declaration.
Supporters’ reasons for signing the petition are as varied as California itself. To scroll through the hundreds of comments posted is to encounter those who are currently or formerly homeless, or desperately worried about loved ones living without a roof over their heads. Some say they’re frightened, heartbroken, moved to action or overwhelmed by what they see around them in their communities. Some invoke the better angels of our nature; others say enough is enough.
Here are some voices in the conversation. Some of the comments have been condensed.
"I'm signing this because I am my brother's keeper."
Ricardo Hernandez, West Covina, CA
"Everyone should have a home."
Penelope Tafoya, Sacramento, CA
"This is absolutely shameful. The homelessness crisis is a disgrace to our supposedly advanced society…It's EVERYBODY'S problem."
Laura Sakoi, Sacramento, CA
"Humans help humans."
Gilbert Medina, Montebello, CA
"I believe in saving lives."
Dorothy Edwards, Pasadena, CA
"No one should be homeless in this great land of wealth."
Mayisha Akbar, Compton, CA
"I have seen the homeless crisis grow and change in San Francisco, and I have seen its impact on the elderly, the disabled, children, and people of color."
Jessica Gibbs, San Francisco, CA
"I could be next."
Talitha James, Los Angeles, CA
"I am human."
Lois Blomdal, Compton, CA
"If brotherly love doesn't move you, consider the tax dollar savings."
Jed Pauker, Venice, CA
"My faith, Judaism, requires me to do so."
Jonathan Klein, Los Angeles, CA
"Having a home is everyone's God-given right."
Ann Dufour, Sacramento, CA
"It's too much, dude, it's just too much. People need places to live."
Rosemarie Grantham, San Jose, CA
"I'm signing this because WE ARE THE CHANGE."
Ruby Roxana Escobar, Los Angeles, CA
"I feel like I take my life in my hands every time I walk down the street in Hollywood. There are too many mentally ill homeless here…I have a young child, and I hate having her exposed to this."
Lynne Felderman, Hollywood, CA
"How can we accept that this situation is occurring in America?"
Bettina Gantsweg, Marina del Rey, CA
"Being homeless is cruel and unusual punishment."
Marylouise Oates, Los Angeles, CA
"I am lucky to have a home but there are so many innocent people who do not. Please help our most vulnerable and by doing so, raise us all up."
Sharon Sekhon, Los Angeles, CA
"Homelessness can happen to anyone—you and me included."
Veronica Perez, Los Angeles, CA
"I have been homeless."
Kecia Oakley, Vacaville, CA
"This is disgraceful that we can’t do better. We are smarter and kinder than this."
Kathryn Proctor, Encino, CA
"I have a homeless granddaughter with 2 little girls, ages 9 months and 2 years."
Cylinda King, Compton, CA
"Kids need a home."
Alex Mejia, Los Angeles, CA
"Los Angeles is big enough to house everyone."
Rebecca Gray, Glendale, CA
"I've never felt so overwhelmed and so disgusted that one of the biggest economies on earth can allow this to happen to its citizens."
Sandra Bonaparte, South Pasadena, CA
"Homelessness is a crime against humanity."
Christopher Bratten, West Hollywood, CA
"Homelessness is a killer. People are dying in the streets."
Christina Miller, Canoga Park, CA
"Because enough is enough! It's time to stop putting band aids on this problem and provide the resources for a real solution."
Sandi Cook, Los Angeles, CA
"When I see a person experiencing homelessness, I wonder what contribution, talent or skill that the world is missing out on."
Leticia Colchado, West Covina, CA
"Because we never know what tomorrow brings us."
Nazaret Ramirez, Los Angeles, CA