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Homelessness | LA Declares State of Emergency

National

Homeless tents along a sidewalk in Los Angeles | Image by Getty Images

Dallas is not the only major U.S. city dealing with a homelessness crisis. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass has said that she will declare a “state of emergency on homelessness.”

Bass was sworn in as the city’s 43rd mayor on Sunday afternoon, after which she announced plans to declare a state of emergency in response to the city’s well-documented plague of homelessness and vagrancy.

“I will start my first day as mayor at the city’s emergency operations centers, where my first act as mayor will be to declare a state of emergency on homelessness,” she said. “My emergency declaration will recognize the severity of our crisis and break new ground to maximize our ability to urgently move people inside and do so for good.”

A declaration of emergency would allow the mayor to activate an emergency operations team and expedite development permits, contracting, and hiring. She will have the authority to suspend certain rules and regulations and let “affordable housing” projects bypass extensive reviews by city staff.

Bass said she plans to house 17,000 people within her first year in office. According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, there are over 40,000 homeless people in the City of Los Angeles and more than 69,000 in Los Angeles County.

The newly-appointed mayor called upon the county government to “lock arms” with her in the effort to end homelessness.

“We know our mission: We must build housing in every neighborhood,” she said. “We cannot continue to overcrowd neighborhoods that are already overcrowded.”

Though Bass emphasized the need to house those who are living on the street, The Dallas Express has previously reported that this may not be the solution. Findings from the Center on Wealth and Poverty at the Discovery Institute assert that government efforts to address homelessness and vagrancy are “doomed to failure” because they “begin with an inadequate diagnosis of the causes.”

The report explains that although lack of housing is a “major factor” in homelessness and vagrancy, the underlying issues are not likely to be solved through “housing first” approaches, which ignore untreated mental illnesses and enable addicts to continue their drug abuse through so-called “harm reduction” projects.

If the Dallas city government does not properly address its already severe homeless and vagrancy problem, the magnitude of vagrancy on display in Los Angeles could serve as a harbinger of what’s to come. City government officials claim they do not anticipate that happening.

“Due to the collaborative efforts of service providers and the City, Dallas is not in a place where we foresee a crisis of the magnitude experienced in L.A.,” city officials told The Dallas Express.

However, polling and surveys show that residents are less than convinced, with majorities of both parties considering Dallas’ homelessness to be a serious problem. The city government has also mismanaged many efforts to combat these problems.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, city officials have made several mistakes in their endeavor to establish a “homeless services” facility in Oak Cliff. Residents have criticized the City for its poor communication with the community and its decision to set up the facility directly across the street from an elementary school.

Further, the number of homeless reportedly increased by almost fifty percent from 2017 to 2020, with another 11% increase in 2020 alone.

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Lanie
Lanie
1 month ago

I don’t know why we have a City Council because they don’t do anything and/or can’t make a decision. . Dallas has plenty of empty buildings throughout the city. Start putting the homeless in those buildings as a start and then come up with a more permanent solution.

Wayne Manzo, PhD
Wayne Manzo, PhD
1 month ago

Lies, all Lies! LA County is a Huge KKK CIA Bee Hive controlled by the Army Meany Ians and if you’re not in the Hive you Rot in the gutters with no Social Services! LA is using the Homeless situation to steal Federal and State money. That’s what Hives do

How long was NASA PhD homeless in Santa Monica, Venice, Malibu, Hollywood, Burbank, etc over 13 years a prisoner of the Hive with No Hope and No Social Services.

Sergio
Sergio
Reply to  Wayne Manzo, PhD
1 month ago

I agree. Their “failed” covid policies were not failed at all but executed in cold determination to bankrupt people as part of agenda 21 and dispossess people. What else can you expect from a governor that is totally aligned with the WEF. This is what they are planning for everyone…by 2030 you will own nothing and be happy. Why not start with Newsom and give him a taste of his own medicine.

Dick Smith
Dick Smith
Reply to  Wayne Manzo, PhD
1 month ago

Same issue historically in Dallas with all the politicians organizing with contractors to loot every penny they can from low-income and homeless housing funds and then lobbying for more funding saying they don’t have enough. They’re so brazen, they dip into the funds and don’t even try to cover it up anymore by altering the books. Just shrug their shoulders and try to say “we don’t know what happened to all that money”. They know at worst they’ll have to pay a fine @ pennies on what they steal.

V63
V63
1 month ago

Knee-jerk reaction is to always address the aesthetics of the situation; i.e., to hide all of those unsightly tents and stolen supermarket carts filled with real peoples personal belongings. Some will recall the Republicans Dallas Convention of the Reagan era in the 80’s. Sweep it all under the rug so to speak. Voila! Out of sight and out of mind. Yet the root cause of this very real problem is never addressed despite throwing more money at it. Maybe we’re running and electing to office the wrong kind of leadership. Still, stop the bleeding and do so now. Start teaching respect for human lives in our institutions. We didn’t get here overnight and it’s going to take time to begin to solve the problem. But solve it we must.

Dion Gazzaruso
Dion Gazzaruso
1 month ago

One of the reasons I moved out of Los Angeles three years ago was because of this problem. It really interferes with your quality of life and mental health. It is an in your face problem every day. Now here in Dallas I am starting to see the same conditions, most notably under the bridge at I-75 and Forest. Looks exactly the same as all the freeway overpasses in L.A. I wrote to my city councilmember on two occasions last year when it was just beginning to fester, got a response the first time. They put up some fences and that didn’t help anything. As of today there are around 20 individuals living there at least, and now they are starting to move down to Royal Lane and I-75 also. The situation will become out of control here soon if they don’t start taking appropriate action. Let’s see if they are out there this weekend when the temperature is supposed to drop to 10 degrees? Shame on you Dallas City Council.

Keepin it real!
Keepin it real!
1 month ago

By far, the majority of homelessness is caused by a lack of affordable housing. Dallas is beginning to address the issue. They just purchased a former hotel on I30 near Sylvan. And just completed the purchase of a whole apartment block for renovation and leasing at below market rates.

Unfortunately, affordable housing is only one piece of the puzzle. Many other homeless are dealing with addiction and metal health issues. It is a complex problem. If it was easy to fix, SOMEONE would’ve fixed it by now. Most of the know-it-alls posting here actually know nothing. They just want to gripe and complain from the sidelines without ever being on the field!

Dick Smith
Dick Smith
Reply to  Keepin it real!
1 month ago

Another huge part of it is the homeless haven’t a voice in City Hall or public forums, social media, etc. which makes them targets of the political vultures we have. The problem is simple enough to cure. If you’ve got a career politician who’s become wealthy holding public office, it’s safe to assume the public is getting screwed, whether they’re liberal or conservative.

joyce
joyce
1 month ago

As a retired senior I can only say the affordable housing DOES NOT EXIST.

Last edited 1 month ago by joyce
Janet
Janet
Reply to  joyce
1 month ago

And getting more and more UNAFFORDABLE. The affordability piece of this problem is rarely addressed. Those who can afford housing are like those who don’t smoke, or addicted to drugs. They can’t understand why it is so hard to quit. Or if THEY were able to do so, than ANYONE should be able to. Each individual homeless person probably has a different reason for being in that situation. More the reason why the solutions will come from those who are trained to address their needs. Sure, there are those who maybe can’t be helped or refuse to be helped, but to not try because you can’t save 100% should not be an option.

Kitty
Kitty
1 month ago

There are a lot of homeless people that don’t want the help, nor try either when the help is offered to them. To start with the a homeless person, the individual must have the desire first to be helped. The person who will stay in the program and follow through with the program hopefully will succeed. The person will have to practice in staying away from the past bad habits, some people will fall back into their old habits from the past if temptations are there. The answer to all the homelessness begins with the individual person. 1. Do they want the help? 2. Will the individual stay the program after they leave and continue using the tools that they were taught by? 3. Do they have a support system? 4. Housing needs to be affordable