Los Angeles, CA–On this episode of Slauson Girl Speaks, I have the opportunity to speak with General Jeff, who is a homeless rights advocate in the city of L.A from South Central. We talk about what he has coined the “homeless industrial complex” and why Black people represent over 42% the homeless in Los Angeles despite only being 8% of the population.
Institutional racism, the crack epidemic and mismanagement of funds are only a few of the major issues not helping the homeless population in Los Angeles. We talk about the measures that have been passed and billions allocated for homeless services in Los Angeles despite the rise in homeless rates.
We also discuss LAHSA’s yearly homeless count that was stopped this year due to covid.
In 2019, The New York Times wrote an article on how the affects of institutional racism in L.A is burdening many African-American men, specifically from South Central, which is manifested in ways such as homelessness and drug addiction.
“Yet it does not affect everyone equally. The historic displacement and fracturing of black communities in South Los Angeles have pushed black Angelenos like Mr. Wynn onto the streets at more than eight times the rate of other groups. In interviews with more than a dozen black men who are homeless in Los Angeles, the bitter inheritance of racism came up again and again,” (New York Times).
In 2018, the committee studying Black homelessness on behalf of LAHSA, submitted their report and recommendations on addressing the alarming rates of Black homelessness in Los Angeles. Black people are said to represent around 30%-40% of the homeless population in L.A, despite representing only 8% of the overall population.
“A theme that cut across the Committee’s work was the acknowledgement that racism has contributed to, and remains intertwined with, homelessness. As such, ending homelessness will require a collective commitment to dismantling racism and addressing racial disparities, and sustained support from funders, policymakers, mainstream systems of care, service providers, and community partners,” the committee details in their report.”