A group of California politicians including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti began a campaign for $1.5 billion to tackle the state’s growing homelessness crisis Monday morning at downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row, where people sleeping in tents line the streets.
This past week, 11 California mayors joined state legislators in introducing Assembly Bill 3171, which would take $1.5 billion from the state’s budget surplus for shelter, rapid and permanent supportive housing and other initiatives.
That would account for 25 percent of the state’s $6 billion surplus, according to authors of the bill.
According to a 2017 homeless count data, 25 percent of the state’s homeless population resides in Los Angeles.
Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, introduced the bill which would create the Local Homelessness Solutions Program and a state account to provide funding to cities “to create innovative and immediate solutions to the problems caused by homelessness.”
The authors of the bill say it is a bipartisan effort, but supporters will trek across the state to sell the proposal to constituents. Assembly Bill 3171 will be deliberated through the state’s budget process.
If approved by state legislators, cities who receive that funding will have to match the money to bring the total investment to combat homelessness in California to $3 billion.
On Monday, co-author Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, called the situation on Skid Row a humanitarian crisis.
“What we’re doing today is one big bold step, an infusion of money that we’re proposing, the steroids that we need to kick off the improvement of Skid Row and other areas like that in the state of California,” said Santiago, whose district includes downtown Los Angeles and Skid Row.
Despite voter-approved tax initiatives that go to fund affordable housing in the city of Los Angeles, and ongoing services for shelters, affordable housing ordinances for transitional housing and outreach to the homeless population, Garcetti said it is not enough.
There is a lack of planning between city and county officials, said Garcetti. Cohesion on affordable housing is something that could address the approximately 2,000 people who sleep daily on the streets of Skid Row.
“Yes, the city is getting to work. I get asked all the time, do neighborhoods want this housing?” said Garcetti, who was joined by Santiago and Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, D-Glendale, at the James M. Wood Community Center in downtown Los Angeles.
He called the disparity between the homeless population and other facets of Los Angeles, like its world-class restaurants and universities, unacceptable.
“LA shouldn’t be judged on the nicest cars we’re inventing or building, but should be who is still sleeping in the car tonight,” said Garcetti, who was one of the 11 mayors at the state capital the week prior to support the bill.
Across the street from the press conference Penny Sue Davis, who has lived on Skid Row for over 30 years but became homeless in December 2017, said it’s difficult for someone like her to find housing.
“I have (multiple sclerosis), hip problems, but they have problems finding me a place,” said Davis. “It hurts, because I don’t know how to get out of here now.”
She would like to see more caseworkers to help homeless people dealing with addiction, mental health problems and other barriers that keep them from finding housing.
“I want to know where is the money going? Where is the help?” Davis asked.
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Who determines who qualifies ???? Someone who just doesn’t want to better themselves should be an automatic disqualification as well as individuals who have drugs in they’re system. I know the Left wants to help everyone but you cant. These people are in this situation for a reason. I really hope they spend our tax paying dollars on Vets who are homeless, people who suffered from natural disasters and elderly who are too old to work and need shelter. I also expect them to conduct background checks on individuals. As I sit in traffic for hours each week I do not feel sorry for those that choose not to better themselves. Reason being they do not feel sorry for me and how hard I work and daily challenges we as adults face. You only get out what you put in something. California needs get rid of all the free loaders
More enabling at taxpayer expense
If they’re just going to spend $1.5B on homelessness, they have no grounds to object to money spent on Trump’s wall not going to homelessness.
Why? All it takes is a ladder to defeat a wall.
Why? Here’s why:
“You can’t spend $20B on a border wall! Spend it on the homeless instead!”
Same people later on: “We can fix homelessness with $1.5B plus local matching funds. We got this.”
And if you think you just need a ladder to defeat a wall, try that on your neighbor’s house or a nearby gated community. Literally everything we have is protected by walls, in some cases multiple layers of walls. Its amazing to think people don’t get the purpose of a border wall.
A neighbor has maybe a couple acres at best. You are talking about a wall that would extend almost 2000 miles. There are bound to be plenty unprotected and eaily penetrable sections… making it a waste of money.
It’s not a waste of money to not have a wall when natural barriers can and are doing just fine. It sounds like you haven’t read very much actual data regarding the border wall project or what it’s expected to do. My point regarding the contradiction in attitude towards spending still stands.
Matthew Martin you do know that most of the border has a fence like 20 feet tall lol
Israel Jaimes according to USCBP, there’s currently 640 miles of fence for a 1989 mile border. Most of it was built roughly 8-10 years ago, and illegal crossings quickly shifted to areas without a fence.
Paul McIntyre so your answer is to not even try?
Mark Piper funny.. I don’t remember pretending I had an answer. I just think the wall is a bad one.
Lol my apartment complex has a wall around it and when I don’t have the keys to the gate I use the ladder some one left in the back to get inside.
Paul McIntyre I think the plan includes electronic surveillance, infrared and cameras and detectors to detect digging.
Anny Meza that’s sort of terrifying
Mark Piper yeah I heard Mexico is gonna pay for it too.
Presidential candidate made a promise that didn’t actually turn out to be viable so far. Shocking, I know.
Is the money coming from high speed rail or are they going to join the lawsuit with NY against the GOP tax law?
Not Guna work … a by product of high grossing urban is homelessness
Los Angeles county residence already pay additional sales tax that took effect in 2017 to help the homeless…why should we pay even more when the powers that be are not using what $$ they are getting for the homeless now..
Take it from the useless train. Otherwise californians only pay more in taxes
We already pay more in sales taxes in LA county that is suppose to help the homeless..but haven’t heard anything being done other than the politicians saying the homeless situation is worsening …no mention where our $$ is going …
That’s because California is beyond corrupt. Taxes pay the politicians pensions. Nothing ever gets solved in California yet the democrats remain in power. Go figure.
Brown will use it for something else
Or maybe you could just allow developers to build more housing to bring down the costs of rent and homes… along with getting rid of unnecessary regulations and taxes that drive businesses and the workforce to other states. Our government is full of momos.