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LA's Homelessness Disaster

Jeff Hall

Posted on May 27, 2021 19:57

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Homeless encampments are everywhere across Los Angeles. The number of homeless individuals has been growing for years. LA feels like it's ready to explode.

I've lived in Los Angeles for over 30 years now.  I remember when I first arrived, in 1988, I was shocked at all the homeless individuals I saw sleeping in tents on sidewalks, below bridges and in encampments off to the sides of the roads. 

I had arrived from Kansas City, where the homelessness issue was a tiny fraction of what I saw in LA.

But now, looking back, what I witnessed in LA back in 1988 is but a tiny fraction of what we see everywhere today.  There has been a huge increase in the number of homeless individuals over the years.

All kinds of problems have arisen -- mental health issues, crime, murder, theft, drugs, arson, rape, sanitation -- it's like something from a late-night zombie movie. 

My friends in Venice Beach feel completely overwhelmed -- like they are living in a war zone. Venice's boardwalk used to be a wonderful tourist draw, but people who go there now are shocked at what they see.

In Pacific Palisades -- a coastal town with some of the finest real estate on the planet -- a big fire was started a week ago. A homeless individual was arrested for arson.

We had a big fire in Brentwood a few years ago -- The Getty Fire -- started by homeless individuals camped off in the bushes somewhere.  Firefighters think the fire was the result of a cooking accident.

Many years ago I started a community newspaper, the Brentwood News.  A few weeks ago I posted an article called "A 22-Point Plan to Deal with LA's Homelessness Situation."

It's a long article and will take you 5-10 minutes to read, should you be interested in this topic:

https://brentwoodnewsla.com/a-22-point-plan-to-deal-with-las-homelessness-situation/

My proposals are of the "tough love" variety, to be sure. 

And yet I think what city leaders do now -- which isn't much -- is the cruelest policy of all.  People are dying out there and local residents are terrorized.

I've received quite a response -- overwhelmingly favorable.  People are sick of the disaster we've seen unfolding for decades now.

I've been doing some homework on homelessness and did three podcasts in a row with people who know what they are talking about. 

If you are interested in this challenging topic, you will get an earful if you can find the time to listen to these three podcasts.

This first one is with Andy Bales, who heads up Union Rescue Mission in Downtown LA's Skid Row.  He is a real fighter, facing the toughest of odds:

https://thelatestpodcast.com/52-homelessness-on-las-skid-row-how-union-rescue-mission-helps

The second podcast is with Ken Craft, CEO of Hope of the Valley, a group that is building "tiny home" villages with some success. I came away from this interview feeling hopeful:

https://thelatestpodcast.com/53-hope-of-the-valley-and-the-battle-against-homelessness

The third interview is with Soledad Ursua, who serves on the Venice Neighborhood Council.

Soledad explains the high cost of housing being built by the city for the homeless -- now approaching $1 million per unit -- with the phrase, "the homeless-industrial complex":

https://thelatestpodcast.com/54-homelessness-in-venice-beach-and-how-the-industry-is-impacted

Jeff Hall

[email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeff Hall

Posted on May 27, 2021 19:57

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Source: Daily Mail

Venice Beach, California, is known as a tourist hotspot with an iconic boardwalk filled with tarot card readers, tattooists,...

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