LA Mayor Needs $1.3 Billion for Homelessness
According to a yearlong study conducted by the RAND Corp., Los Angeles has increased its homelessness population by approximately 18%. Most notably, the three neighborhoods include Venice Beach, Hollywood, and Skid Row. During her campaign, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass promised to reduce homelessness in her first year of office. She told President Biden that he could significantly reduce homelessness in the United States by helping her find shelter for roughly 40,000 people in L.A.. All she needs is $1.3 billion dollars to accelerate momentum.
“We are trying to lay the foundation and set the stage for what I hope will be a very significant reduction, especially in street homelessness this year,” Bass believes so in this statement.
Homeless Housing Crisis
Prior to her mayoral arrival, L.A. had seen a large spending increase to tackle homelessness. Encampments, tents, and vehicles scattered around the city blatantly in site. Many believe solutions starts with the lack of housing. A lot of city-owned properties have been evaluated for housing, but never moved along in the process. The city has already allocated $50 million for rooms, as part of a program called “Inside Safe,” which houses annually around 1,000 previously homeless Angelenos. These plans have helped, but the short-term impact is unsustainable for change.
Bass has no time for “Band-Aid” budgeting. She wants a long-term approach that supports home buildings and giving landlords housing vouchers to help homeless people rent apartments.
In addition, Bass intends to allocate funds toward healthcare provisions for the homeless. Another root cause to the problem is mental health issues and eradicating that as well. Issues that are prevalent in the LA community is substance abuse, addiction, poverty, and lack of job skills. Her team plans to get with community-based organizations to have street medical teams and work with populations across the city effectively.
To her, homelessness is a state of emergency in LA and she plans to have all hands on deck.
Featured Image by Jae C. Hong/AP