Los Angeles, CA–The homeless crisis in Los Angeles is getting worse, according to the 2019 homeless report released earlier this week. A total of 59,000 people were counted living on the streets or in tents.
The report was released by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Tuesday and comes as a shock to many, considering $600 million in funding the city of L.A recieve within the last year alone to address the crisis.
LAHSA conducted their annual homeless count earlier this year. Volunteers canvased the city, going from encampments to mobile homes, tallying up the number of those living on the streets or inside of their vehicles.
“Officials blame rising rents and evictions, which they say are pushing people into homelessness faster than the city or county can catch them. Since 2000, LA County’s median monthly rent has risen 32%, to $2,471, while household income has stagnated, according to the nonprofit California Housing Partnership.
That has created a steady flow of people into homelessness, says Peter Lynn, executive director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, a city-county agency,” (NPR).
The increase in homelessness has led to piles of trash and feces along sidewalks, especially in downtown Los Angeles. These conditions lure rats from the sewers and rats are now said to be showing up in places like city hall and the Los Angeles police station in DTLA. Cases of Typus have also been reported.
Los Angeles approved Proposition HHH, a $1.2-billion voter-approved bond to build homeless housing, while the county funds homeless services through Measure H, including rent subsidies, shelter beds, drug and mental health counseling and other services (Los Angeles Times).
“Mayor Garcetti has promised to build 10,000 new units of permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless in the coming years. But with nearly two-thirds of the budget already committed, only about 5,000 units have been approved, and only one project has opened. The city is studying ways to build the housing more cheaply and quickly.”