Ten travel trailers were delivered to South Los Angeles at a site that will house homeless families with children, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday. Caltrans plans to deliver an additional 20 travel trailers to Los Angeles in the coming weeks and dozens more throughout the state.
At the same time LA was taking possession of 10 trailers for the homeless, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson was in Los Angeles meeting with Mayor Eric Garcetti to discuss future federal funds for the city and county.
Carson and Garcetti announced the formation of a working group which will meet to decide how the federal funding will be dispersed.
The Governor also announced he has released $650 million in State Emergency Homeless Aid – of which Los Angeles County will receive $64.3 million – and issued a challenge for cities and counties to partner with the state on immediate impact solutions to tackle homelessness.
During an appearance on “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” Newsom said he met with federal officials this week in Washington to see whether they’d be willing to support California’s efforts. “This is a humanitarian crisis, and we have got to turn it around,” the governor said, the Los Angeles Times reported.
It’s Not a Housing Crisis
The Newsom administration has repeatedly claimed the explosion of drug-addicted, mentally ill people on the street is a housing shortage and housing affordability problem. Affordable housing is certainly a problem in California, but lack of housing is not at the root of the more than 160,000 drug-addicted mentally ill people living on city streets, in public parks, along rivers and parkways and in tent cities.
Yet city leaders shun the idea of erecting large tents in which to temporarily house the homeless vagrants, drug addicts and mentally ill, while simultaneously triaging them to determine what services they need. It’s as if the idea of a large tent is abhorrent or somehow undignified and sends the wrong signals.
It took three weeks for the the Governor’s Council of Regional Homeless Advisors to decide where the 10 travel trailers were going.
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Just over three weeks after identifying a site for the trailers, we have the manifestation of collective civic action,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, co-chair of the Governor’s Council of Regional Homeless Advisors. “The State of California, Los Angeles County and Los Angeles City, working shoulder-to-shoulder with the nonprofit, philanthropy and private sectors, as well as residents and volunteers, have created a safe landing for families transitioning out of homelessness. This is what a crisis response can and should look like.”
In January, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that he and the federal government have reached a preliminary agreement with the Trump administration on a joint plan to help combat the city’s homelessness crisis by erecting temporary shelters, California Globe reported.
In recent weeks HUD Secretary Ben Carson has exerted a great deal of pressure on Garcetti and other big city California Mayors to act swiftly on temporary shelters.
Gov. Newsom’s task force on homelessness called for a “legally enforceable mandate” that would force municipalities and the state to house the growing number of homeless Californians, Dan Walters at Calmatters reported. “The proposal, which came as Newsom kicked off a weeklong tour of the state aimed at drawing attention to the homelessness crisis, urged the Legislature to put a state constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would force California cities and counties to take steps to provide housing for the more than 150,000 Californians who lack it, or face legal action.”
Nearly every Californian has already noticed the homeless crisis, with drug addicted vagrants living and defecating on city streets, along rivers, under freeways, in parks, on vacant lots, in vacant homes, in RVs, and wherever they can squat.
So Newsom’s homeless task force wants to force cities to provide housing, when housing is not the prevailing problem… and 10 or 100 travel trailers may help a few, but won’t solve the mental illness and drug addiction crisis, nor will trailers solve the state’s policy of prison population reduction, early release programs, bail “reform,” and reducing felonies to misdemeanors and misdemeanors down to citations for a notable list of crimes under Propositions 47 and 57.
Notably, Los Angeles county and city governments collectively spend more than $1 billion annually on the costs of dealing with the growing homeless population, which continues to grow with their spending.
Despite committing the trailers and medical tents to the homeless, Newsom said recently “but we need to focus on permanency. This means regionalizing our administration. It needs more accountability at the local level.”
Dr. Ben Carson, a critic of the Housing First policy of the Obama administration, said some of the federal aid might come in the form of medical services, the LAT reported. “Carson said California and other states needed to take a hard look at changing more policies, such as zoning neighborhoods for single-family homes only, because they are vestiges of another time when housing was ample.”
In January, Mayor Garcetti announced that he and the federal government have reached a preliminary agreement with the Trump administration on a joint plan to help combat the city’s homelessness crisis by erecting temporary shelters.