Homelessness in Los Angeles: from Safer City to Home for Good
With about 48,000 homeless living on its streets, Los Angeles is the homeless capital of the country. Over the past decade, cities like Denver, New York and San Francisco have all dramatically reduced their homeless populations by building permanent housing. But here, homelessness has grown faster than the national rate in no small part because of discordant county and city governments. Nearly five years after Mayor Villaraigosa's Skid Row Safer City Initiative-the policing strategy that placed 50 additional officers in the fifty block area of downtown's skid row-we look ahead at what is left to be done to address homeless issues downtown and throughout the county. On January 26, 2010 Patt Morrison lead a discussion about proposals such as the Home for Good plan, which combines the social service knowledge of United Way with the private business model of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and aims to end homelessness with permanent housing by 2016. With so many plans proposed and failed, what if anything sets this ambitious model apart from the rest? And why has homelessness proven to be such a singularly intractable issue for Los Angeles while it has motivated so many other regions to act? Panelists included: Mike Alvidrez, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Skid Row Housing Trust, which develops, manages and operates homes for the homeless of Los Angeles. The Trust’s permanent supportive housing also provides a complete range of support services to move beyond poverty, illness and addiction Mark Casanova, executive director of Homeless Health Care Los Angeles, a group working to improve the health of homeless people in Los Angeles Marcus Cristy, skid row resident; Marcus has lived at the Lincoln Apartments in Skid Row for 3 years. Prior to moving into the Lincoln Apartments in 2007, he was homeless off and on in the Skid Row community since the beginning of 2001 Carl Howard, Skid row resident and director of Homeless Healthcare’s Alumni Drama Club Deon Joseph, Senior Lead Officer, Los Angeles Police Department, Central Division Becky Kanis, Director of the 100,000 Homes Campaign, Common Ground, a national nonprofit social services organization advocating for permanent and transitional housing Jerry Neuman, Home for Good task force co-chair representing the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Orlando Ward, vice president of operations, Midnight Mission Zev Yaroslavsky, Los Angeles County Supervisor To listen to this event, please visit the PATT MORRISON website.*** ***This event was the second segment in a two-part series. To listen to the first segment CLICK HERE.