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How Are Those Facing Homelessness In LA Impacted Amid The Coronavirus Pandemic?




A police car passes homeless people on Skid Row after the new restrictions went into effect as the coronavirus pandemic spreads on March 20, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
A police car passes homeless people on Skid Row after the new restrictions went into effect as the coronavirus pandemic spreads on March 20, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
David McNew/Getty Images

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The homeless population is particularly vulnerable during the global coronavirus pandemic.

There are an estimated 59,000 people who are homeless in L.A. County. Last week, Los Angeles leaders approved increased protections for homeless Angelenos in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. But cleanups of homeless encampments, known as sweeps, weren't officially halted. Now, the CDC has issued a simple guideline for how local governments should conduct those sweeps: don't — unless individual housing units can be provided. According to the LA Times, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti also announced plans to use more than 40 recreation centers as shelter as a way to curb the spread of the virus to the vulnerable population. But some have raised concerns about people congregating in these facilities. Other efforts have included adding hand washing stations near encampments. As the coronavirus continues to spread across the country, we look at what authorities and advocates are doing to help the homeless population. Are you homeless? Do you have questions about the city and county’s coronavirus orders? Share your experience and join the conversation by calling 866-893-5722.

With files from LAist

Guests:

Heidi Marston, interim executive director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority; she tweets @hmarston2

Va Lecia Adams Kellum, president and CEO of St. Joseph Center, which works with working poor families, and homeless men, women and children; they are based in Venice and service L.A. County; she tweets @VaLeciaAdams

Rev. Andy Bales, CEO of Union Rescue Mission; he tweets @abales