Los Angeles finally addresses homeless issue

Los Angeles has been faced with a very big crisis with their homeless population, as mayor Eric Garcetti attempts to tackle this issue.


Carolyn Cole/LA Times

Los Angeles is a city with a terrible homeless crisis.

Homelessness is California has been a major issue, specifically in Los Angeles. The last count was in 2020, when it was recorded that 60,000 people were experiencing homelessness in the city of the angels. The 2021 count was postponed due to Covid-19 worries.

The 2022 count took place during the last week of February, the results of this count have not been recorded yet.

LA has been criticized heavily for their reaction to this issue. Homelessness in the city becomes an even bigger issue year after year. City officials have done little to help this population. During 2021 their “solution” was donating 6,000 shelter beds. This move helped a mere 1/10th of the homeless population.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said, “Los Angeles is uniting to end the moral and humanitarian crisis of our time. Angelenos know and understand that homelessness will not be solved overnight — but the City and County of LA are working more closely together than ever to bring unsheltered Angelenos inside with homes, healing, and hope.”

Garcetti announced a new project to build thousands of new supporting housing units. This project has the ability to finally give the homeless population of Los Angeles a much needed support system.

Housing units for homeless population

After years of ignoring this crisis, it seems like the city is finally ready to make a change. Los Angeles is overwhelmed with homeless people, with multiple blocks being run by them. In certain areas of the city there is very little police presence, and very high homeless rates. The city has basically designated a spot for this population to roam about, instead of doing something to fix this issue, until now.

The attitudes towards this issue have changed and momentum to fix this issue has been achieved. Overwhelming support from the public to fix this has undoubtedly caused action. When tourists, and citizens are complaining about lack of action, it only makes sense to take more action.

Making tourists feel safe, allows more money to flow into your city, and pleasing the citizens helps Garcetti campaign for another term as mayor of Los Angeles.

It should not have gotten to this point though, government officials should not have to wait until they face backlash to action on such an important issue. While this new project helps the homeless, it should have been completed years ago, when this crisis was first starting to become something big.

California as a state has a very bad homeless problem, not just Los Angeles. A simple Google search about homelessness rates results in the following sentence, “Outside of California, the city with the highest homeless rate in the US is Honolulu.” Homelessness is so bad in California, that even Google assumes you already know where the highest homeless populations are.

While California may not be taking any action on a state wide level, Garcetti understands that he must do what is best for his city. Every city should be making homelessness a top priority, unfortunately not all city leaders have the same ideals.

Streets of Los Angeles overflowing with homeless.

Homelessness has been running rampant throughout many cities in the United States, however certain groups have taken it into their own hands to help out. For instance in Cincinnati, Ohio, a group called Maslows Army provides help to Cincinnati’s homeless by serving food, and allowing them someone to sleep.

Los Angeles has many organizations that provide help with their crisis, but none of these organizations can fully help the amount of homeless people in this city. These types of organizations need to be backed by the government to help flourish the impact they can have on such a vulnerable population.

Homeless charities in Los Angeles have been at the frontlines when it comes to battling this crisis, and have been looking for more support from the community around them.

Homelessness is more than just an issue in California. It is an epidemic sweeping the nation we live in today. Everyone has a right to proper living conditions, there can never truly be enough done to help this community. While local governments may not want to do anything about it, everyday citizens can play a big role in helping out. A simple activity such as volunteering with charities that support homeless people can go a very long way towards improving their living conditions.