FROM Andy Bales
Making L.A.: Housing the Homeless Los Angeles is having its worst homeless crisis in years. More than 44,000 people live on streets, in cars and in shelters. That’s 12 percent more than two years ago. Encampments are up 85 percent as well. Mayor Eric Garcetti promised to end chronic homelessness by the end of next year, and to end veteran homelessness this year. But that’s proving to be difficult. Last week, Garcetti moved the deadline to next summer.
L.A. Tries a New Tactic for Homeless Encampments Homeless encampments in L.A. have almost doubled in the past two years, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. And yesterday, the city council took a step to address the issue. Councilmembers approved measures that would make it easier to break up encampments. Under the new rules, homeless people would have 24 hours notice to move their belongings from sidewalks and parks, instead of 72. City crews would also be allowed to confiscate anything bigger than a 60-gallon trash can without notice. Are these necessary measures to keep our streets orderly, or do they amount to criminalizing homelessness?
How to Help the Skid Row Homeless Protesters gathered this morning on Skid Row to express their anger at the police shooting of a homeless man known as Africa. The LA Times identified his real name as Charley Robinet. He was killed after scuffling with several police officers on Sunday. The shooting has once again brought the spotlight on Skid Row and the plight of the homeless in Los Angeles. We take a look at what the city’s doing to help the mentally ill and move the chronically homeless off Skid Row and whether there’s any new hope in an approach known as “housing first.”
A New Approach to Skid Row For decades, city and county officials have tried to clean up the 50-block neighborhood in downtown. But Skid Row still has the country’s highest concentration of homeless people. Most of them struggle with substance abuse or mental illness, or both. That has made policing the area, and getting people into housing, very difficult over the years. But now the city is teaming up with the county on a new approach.
Downtown Cleanup A Los Angeles budget official this week proposed a nearly $4,000,000 cleanup of skid row. The proposal outlines plans for more 24-hour bathrooms, trash cans and storage space for the belongings of the homeless. But critics of the plan say it doesn't go far enough.
Cold Snap Drives Families into Shelters It's cold in Southern California, and it's going to get wet -- with big storms predicted starting tonight and lasting into next week. That's bad news for people with no place to live. Winter shelters opened December 1, and a couple of nights ago occupancy doubled. Andy Bales is CEO of the Union Rescue Mission.
Why did Jared Kushner want a back channel with Russians? News broke Friday that President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, tried setting up a back channel between the Trump transition team and the Russian government. What are the consequences for Kushner, President Trump, and the investigation into Russian meddling?
Securing Public Spaces, Super Wealthy Asians Vehicles are increasingly being used as weapons, as seen in the London Bridge attack over the weekend and in New York’s Times Square last month. The Compton-based company Calpipe is designing security bollards to help make public spaces safer. And novelist Kevin Kwan satirizes the “crazy rich” Asian jet set and their luxurious tastes in his latest book, “Rich People Problems.”
How do Trump supporters feel about the Paris Accord? Globally and around the U.S., there are strong opinions whether or not the Paris Climate Accord is a good idea. The American exit is either a horrifying abdication of American leadership or a forceful and long overdue statement about U.S. sovereignty.