The number of homeless people is huge and disturbing.

Millions of people are homeless in the most progressive and powerful country in the world. Unaffordable housing, poverty, and unemployment are the top three causes of homelessness. Natural disasters, foreclosures, domestic violence, mental illness and addiction disorders are all among the reasons pushing the statistics upward.

Economic recession and outsourcing jobs force not only mentally ill or drug addicted people, but also many intelligent families, former businessmen or homeowners onto the street.

California is one of the states with the highest rate of homelessness. According to National Alliance to End Homelessness, the number of homeless people per 10,000 is two times larger than the mean for the U.S. Moreover, these numbers are increasing gradually. What the Glendale National Guard Armory does, housing the regional homeless shelter this winter, is praiseworthy ("Winter shelter puts the light on," Dec. 2). Nevertheless, that is not enough.

Homelessness is a huge disaster. It is a kind of social disease that grows and spreads with its consequences — human suffering, broken lives, death and crime. People end up with ambulance trips to local hospitals. Our society provides some kind of remedies to ease the pain. However, are those remedies permanent cures for this disease?

It is time for our government to take more serious actions on this issue. Instead of looking for funds to provide welfare, temporary shelters and healthcare to less fortunate people, training officers, providing courts and jails to deal with crime, it is better to revise government spending and target the main causes of the issue.

It is more effective to prevent, rather than provide.

Arev Yeghiazaryan

Tujunga