It is no secret that homelessness is a serious issue in both the city of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County. In fact, homeless increased by 12 percent between 2014 and 2015 in both the city and the county. Furthermore, studies show that homelessness is a problem that affects nearly every part of the city, even the higher-end parts of the city. With this serving as an ongoing concern, the city continues to look at ways to address the issue. Unfortunately, the way the issue is currently being handled is one that has caused a great deal of controversy.
Examining the Issue
In response to the growing homeless population, the city of Los Angeles has put together a $1.85 billion plan to combat homelessness. Last year, Mayor Eric Garcetti pledged to set aside $100 million of city funds to help wage the “war on homelessness.” According to a report recently released by the city, however, it will take $1.85 billion spent over the next ten years to fully address the issue. Among the strategies proposed include adhering to the Housing First approach, expanding Rapid Re-Housing, offering more shelters and storage facilities and acknowledging the homeless demographic.
The Housing First philosophy advocates for putting homeless individuals in long-term housing before applying for social assistance to bring about self-sufficiency. Meanwhile, Rapid Housing involves providing homeless individuals and families with rent vouchers for a period of time. This program has found to be particularly effective with families with kids and with those who are chronically homeless. Increasing the number of shelters around the city would also provide homeless individuals with shelter while also giving them greater access to case workers, social services, health services, laundry facilities and hygiene facilities. Similarly, a safe parking program would be beneficial to those who are living in RVs.
To effectively meet the needs of homeless individuals in the area, the report also emphasized the importance of distinguishing between the different types of homeless people in the city. Rather than taking a “one-size-fits-all” approach, the report breaks down the homeless population into four groups: families, individuals, veterans and youths. Different services are targeted toward each of these groups to optimize effectiveness.
Failure to Implement
While the city seems to have a pretty clear idea of what the problem entails, critics maintain the city is not moving forward in the right direction. Not only are homeless residents being arrested for making their makeshift shelters and keeping their belongings on the street, but the Los Angeles Police Department is also reportedly taking and destroying tents and other property left on the streets by the homeless. Meanwhile, temporary shelter options are actually decreasing throughout the city, leaving even fewer options available for homeless individuals who want to get off of the street.
While Los Angeles does continue to struggle with handling the homeless issue, it is still undoubtedly one of the best places in the world to live. If you would like to learn more about what the area has to offer, contact our team of luxury real estate experts. We specialize in real estate in the most exclusive communities in Southern California.
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(all data current as of 7/24/2017)
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