But the homelessness crisis that hit Los Angeles is the one that has been many years in making, without an easy fix. It is a problem triggered by a series of complex factors, including rents, an unbelievable lack of affordable housing units, resilience to new shelters and the development of housing in suburban areas, and above all the lack of a cohesive protective network for thousands of people struggling with mental health problems, dependency and, in some cases, recent exits from the criminal justice system that left them without other options beyond life on the streets.
"That is the height of the contradiction that in the midst of the great prosperity of the Golden State, we also see an unprecedented growth in homelessness," said Los Angeles County Superintendent Mark Ridley-Thomas, a key tax adviser for the county in 2017, known as Measure H, which raises some $ 355 million a year for homelessness services over ten years.
"These data are stunning from the perspective that we hoped things would be different, but we will not ignore our realities," Ridley-Thomas said after announcing the numbers. "No one can ignore income insecurity, financial stress that faces the whole population … This is the country that is the richest country in the country, and at the same time it is the poorest."
The new number of homeless people released on Tuesday by the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority showed nearly 59,000 people living on the streets across Los Angeles County, an increase of 12% over the previous year; and 36,300 homeless people within the city limits of Los Angeles, an increase of 16 percent compared to last year.
While these numbers were shocked by the many Americans who see Los Angeles mainly as a city of incredible wealth, they came as little surprise to millions of Angelinos.
For several years now, the inhabitants of the city have followed the standard camps that went far beyond the city center, known as the Skid Red, where the homelessness of the population and the services of LA. historically concentrated – in their neighborhood sidewalks, highway embankments, city and county parks along the business corridors and some of the richest settlements in Los Angeles.
Beyond the well-being of the city's homelessness, camps have raised a wide range of public health concerns and security concerns. Fire department officials in Los Angeles have found, for example, that Scarball's massive explosive that set fire to homes in Bel Air and set fire to the slopes along the 405 highway in December 2017 was triggered by a fire in the homeless camp near.
In and around Skid Row, a large number of business owners who store their goods in that industrial zone in the city center have pushed the city to do more to increase the number of fires in tents. In one of the worst events, some of the fires illuminate gang members trying to collect rent from tents to certain blocks, according to law enforcement officials and homeless people living in tents interviewed by CNN.
Many homeless advocates and representatives interviewed by CNN over the past year also worry that raising the number of tents has made it much easier for members of the gang and other criminals to cover up human trafficking and drug trafficking, especially in the Skid Red where trash in streets filled with used needles, a dangerous public health hazard.
Although the city makes routine cleaners in Skid Row and in other parts of the city, the garbage from the abandoned camps is a constant sight, concealed through the exit of the highway and under the bridges. Partially because of public health hazards, Skid Row cleaning is done with military precision. For residents of the homeless living in that block are sent warnings about the movement of the tents so that the streets can be cleaned of garbage, hacked by massive street cleaners and then sprayed with disinfectants in workers wearing white hammam suits. Garbage and garbage along the corridors in other parts of the city sometimes last several weeks to clean up.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garkettie, who has been campaigning for an initiative in the city called Proposition HHH, which in the next 10 years has allocated $ 1.2 billion to homeless accommodation units, described homelessness in an interview with CNN as "the greatest cordial bond for me and my city." The crisis was considered the central reason Garcety decided not to run for president in 2020.
During a March 2018 event for a project aimed at ending homelessness for some 45,000 people, Garceti began a campaign to encourage Angelez to receive more shelters and affordable housing in their neighborhoods.
"We can not arrest our way out of this, we can not keep our way out of this. We need to leave our path," Garketi told reporters.
In the draft budget for the fiscal year, which begins on July 1, California governor Gavin News said he is seeking $ 1 billion to tackle the homelessness crisis in the country. The Governor appointed Ridley Thomas and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg as Co-President of his Advisory Working Group on Homelessness and Housing Support to help local jurisdictions in the best ways to spend money (either to support housing or more innovative approaches such as motel conversions).
In a new report, this had a brighter hope: statistics showed that a better equipped crises system for homelessness in the city / county helped to move 21,631 people into permanent housing last year.
But money for housing flowed slowly. And while this housing figure was considered progress, Garceti faced considerable resistance, even with the attempt to convince all 15 city communes to approve the temporary shelter.
At a public forum in Venice on the west side of Los Angeles last October, Garkettes faced an outburst of protests and riotings for four hours while he tried to persuade residents to support the opening of a shelter in a blank, as part of his project "Bridge House". Neighborhood residents cited concerns about crime, disorder, garbage and needles that are already a problem on their streets.
This week he faced the dark numbers, the Los Angeles Mayor promised to continue.
"We can not allow a string of difficult figures to discourage or weaken our resolve," said Harvey.