‘The Height Of Contradiction’: LA Officials Grapple With Steep Rise In Homelessness Despite Ample Funding To Fight Crisis
“It’s like cold water being thrown in one’s face after all this good work,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, co-chairman of a statewide homeless task force. Other cities in the state also saw increases. California ranks No. 1 in the nation with its homeless population of 129,972.
Staggering Homeless Count Stuns LA Officials
The stunning increase in homelessness announced in Los Angeles this week — up 16% over last year citywide — was an almost incomprehensible conundrum given the nation's booming economy and the hundreds of millions of dollars that city, county and state officials have directed toward the problem. But the homelessness crisis gripping Los Angeles is one that has been many years in the making with no easy fix. It is a problem driven by an array of complex factors, including rising rents, a staggering shortage of affordable housing units, resistance to new shelters and housing developments in suburban neighborhoods, and, above all, the lack of a cohesive safety net for thousands of people struggling with mental health problems, addiction and, in some cases, recent exits from the criminal justice system that have left them with no other options beyond living on the streets. (Reston, 6/6)
The Wall Street Journal:
Homelessness Grows In California Despite New Government Spending
California’s homeless population is going up despite billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded efforts, according to recently released data and officials. Homelessness jumped 12% and 16% from a year ago in the county and city of Los Angeles, respectively, according to figures released this week based on a count conducted in January. The tally showed 58,936 homeless people in Los Angeles County, which includes 36,300 in the city. The county has the nation’s largest outdoor-homeless population. (Lazo, 6/7)