Homelessness Issue in Los Angeles

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All around the world people are experiencing homelessness. Being homeless is not having a primary residence or more say a roof over one’s head. He or she may be living in shelters, going couch to couch at a friends, living out of one’s car, or simply just not having a permanent situation. Homelessness is a common issue that involves hundreds of thousands of people each year and is an increasing problem in society today. The city with the highest amount of homeless people in the united states is in the city of Los Angeles specifically within the downtown area known as Skid Row. With the homeless population of Los Angeles continually growing everyday these people face the glorifying truth on how it is to not have a roof over their head. There are quite a few changes from the past till now and there have been many decisions and agreement that will be taken to action in the near future to try and end this epidemic of homelessness. The homelessness population in the future looks like it will significantly decrease due to the developments that were introduced, such as more shelter offering more beds as well as organizations building more homes.

Due to the job cuts of the Reagan Administration it was a major contribution to the homelessness problem that lead people struggling to pay rent and feeding their families. The current homeless crisis has been decades in the making. According to an article on the “National Coalition for the Homeless” published in July 2009 patients were released from mental hospitals in the 1950’and 1960’s, but the increase in homelessness did not happen until the 1980’s when incomes and housing options began to vanish quickly. For almost 60 years systems by different levels of government have made their contribution in the loss of housing, the amount of jobs available and the liquidation of the public mental health care.

The homelessness issue in Los Angeles initially began in the early 80’s with drastic cuts due to the Reagan administration. Thus leading to the beginning of the 1980’s when advocates, reporters, social workers and many others had noticed an increasing amount of people living on the streets to due to the limited options available to them. The limited options from the past is substantial as it is how our current homeless crisis has been impacted and is still an ongoing growing issue. Another substantial cause of the homelessness in Los Angeles was the recession in the 1990’s this resulted to many middle class families splitting and eventually lead mostly women and children to Skidrow while in need of shelter and many other assistance. Some developments according to an article section on Skidrow.org that came to light was throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s the city of Los Angeles increased building and safety code enforcement of the local hotels, some owners found this as a cheaper solution rather than completely destroying hotels. This would make it more affordable and even have prices reduced by almost half so it’s more affordable for those who can no longer afford such high payments. Skidrow became almost a hotspot for many individuals,who face multiple problems such as addiction, gang affiliation, mental disorders, and constant economic pressures that are associated with not having a home.

In the past six years Los Angeles has had a 75% increase on homelessness from 32,000 to 55,000 since 2018. According to the article published on the Los Angeles Times on September 22, 2015 called “ Homeless in L.A.” countywide there are more than 44,000 homeless people that were tallied in January which went up from more than 39,000 in 2013. According to this report more than half or roughly 26,000 were in the city of Los Angeles. The city with the highest amount of homeless people in the united states in in the city of Los Angeles. The behaviors and conditions that associate with homeless civilians are varied within drug and alcohol abuse as a common stereotype. Another development that was used to help the situation was the Skid row housing trust created in 1989 this trust helped make permanent housing services which would provide the homeless men and women a permanent home rather than living in the street ir a shelter from time to time. This act was centred in the downtown Los Angeles area specifically for skidrow to help make a change to get the people of LA off the streets at the time. The first housing situation that would possibly change the percentage was completed in 1992.

Lastly, a developpement that was made by Obama, when he was president gave a investment from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of $1.5 billion to the housing vouchers for the homeless and offered rapid re-housing, which would essentially mean quickly moving people into homes so it can limit the homelessness epidemic. With Obama’s investment it would not only mean there would be less homeless on the streets or under highways but less in shelters as well.

A few steps that the Los Angeles area can take according to an article posted in May of 2017 by Southern California Association of NonProfit Housing (SCANPH) called “Los Angeles County Renters In Crisis: A Call To Action The city or Los Angeles County” we should explore the option of implementing certain policies that would encourage successful rates of permanent housing. A future development called Project 50 would have an impact and can possibly go underway as a trial to give housing to 50 homeless in the early 2000’s. Project 50, is a program created by action of the Board and is funded by the County’s Homeless Prevention Initiative also known as the HPI. Project 50 provides housing and support services to the homeless who have previously lived on the streets of Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles. Project 50 offsets the utilization of expensive public services.

Another development that can help the homelessness crisis according to “ A 2018 Snapshot of Homelessness in Los Angeles County” is the civilians of Los Angeles will be able to have a vote to approve a tax increase in order to help decrease the homelessness rate within the next 10 years this would essentially create funds in order to help possibly build more homes for the homeless in the future. Although this article doesn’t have a specific author the article does begin to speak on our reality of the rise in homelessness and how much it has changed in over 20 years. Reports from 2017 around Los Angeles and it’s rise by almost 50%. It later proceeds to 2018 with an incredibly high number of 65% of adults living in Los Angeles. This article is a major difference from the others that have been viewed because this specific article discusses the decrease in homelessness in Los Angeles. The USC article provides evidence from November 2016 and March of 2017 that the voters as well as the civilians of Los Angeles to approve a tax increase to help decrease the rate of homelessness within the next 10 years. This article although does provide evidence towards the decrease of homelessness it doesn’t fully help or give many points as to how i has changed over the years let alone what can happen in the future. This can be used for the present example and possibly the future due to the inclusion of the tax increase for the next ten years.

The population of homelessness has increased in Los Angeles drastically since the financial crisis of 2008 by having 40% of Americans living controlled. With the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles dating back to when it originally started it is still on the rise and significantly increasing. In Los Angeles, high unemployment arose in the late 1970s and early 1980s which increased the welfare rates. Unemployment is one of the main reasons why people are homeless today and that it due to them not having any source of income to provide for them. In today’s society it has taken a toll within the last few years and has changed drastically. With the financial crash in 2008 the real estate fundamentals had changed. Big companies began to invest in real estate and eventually becoming landlords to nearly 40% of Americans living. With that being said they had the power to increase rent prices and mortgages within the cities they own. After the financial crash in 2008 the real estate fundamentals had changed.

Big companies began to invest in real estate and eventually becoming landlords to nearly 40% of Americans living. This would cause a extreme rise in rent therefore leading residents to be out on the street. This Youtube video published by CBS News mainly focuses on Los Angeles and the huge toll it took and how visible homelessness now is. According to this episode it shows were certain areas around Los Angeles are affected and it isn’t only people who find and empty spot on the sidewalk but under highways, people living out of their cars, couch surfing and many more. The episode focused in the homeless epidemic that is still currently happening. This is related to present time as the 2008 financial crisis was only 11 years ago. The sow can be seen interviewing real people on their take on the life they are currently living and how they feel about it. A woman was asked if she saw this coming and she states “ I never saw this happening, but it can happen to anyone.” This is yet again related to out present time and the stress it has put on others and how one thing can change someone’s life completely.

Homelessness has increased due to the rise of rent and is the initial leading cause of why people aren’t able to afford their and have a place to go. Also, substance abusers contribute a majority of the homelessness population and lacks the support from family and doctors which can lead to further health issues. With all this information that has been presented in 2006 the city of Los Angeles had came to an agreement by signing the Jones agreement which allowed the homeless to sleep on the sidewalks overnight. The current homelessness counts that have been made between 2010 and 2017, across the Los Angeles County went from 38,700 to over 55,000 with an increase of 42% in seven years. Along with the 42% increase in a 2017 report by CHP or California Housing Partnership it stated Los Angeles rent has increased over 35% in just the past two decades. This would essentially mean rent keeps rising which is the initial cause of why people aren’t able to afford their homes and leaving them with no places to go. With the current realities not all situations are visible as in we cannot fully see all the different situation people go through other than just sleeping on streets. In the Los Angeles County, many people are experiencing homelessness in less visible ways such as couch hopping, sleeping in a car or tents around town. These are the struggles that people go through everyday but it isn’t necessarily acknowledged because they aren’t on the streets sleeping no the ground.

Some of the additional situations and changes that have happened over the years are most peoples don’t know are affecting the homeless is their health. The homeless people often encounter a lot of health issues in their lives. Their health gets worse over time because they don’t have regularly check ups or people around them such as family to ask how their health is. Many personal issues come into light when one realizes they won’t have somewhere to call home or simply just a shelter to live in. Some homeless aren’t able to handle most actions that they would have to take in order to get back on their feet and end up suffering mentally. The reality is substance abuse is one of the leading causes to homelessness in Los Angeles.Substance abuse can lead to a many negative outcomes in which it can lead to increased poverty, depression, anxiety, and delusional due the drug and alcohol use. This epidemic around Los Angeles is currently happening but and there are so many solutions in helping this crisis. The most current statistics and up to date concerns as of 2018 is the current homelessness rate in Los Angeles county’s was 52,765 and is expected to still be in the rise. As of 2019 there has been a 20% increase in the visibility of homelessness in the LA county. Many future developments that are likely to happen such as in December 28, 2018 Los Angeles county had stated they plan on spending nearly $442 million on housing to help reduce the gruesome rate of homelessness. Not much has been finalized but it it a possibility for the near future.

A growing concern in today’s society is proposition HHH isn’t going through as easy as others would hope it would. With proposition HHH the top concern was what happens when the money runs out will is be worthy to renew this agreement for another 10 years but that’s not the only this HHH doesn’t know where to spend the money let alone how to. This can lead to any downfalls as this money would help reate new homes for the homeless. Although proposition HHH had some concerns about whether or not the process of where the money will go and how it can last. According to an Los Angeles Times article published on April 22, 2019 by Doug Smith “How Close is L.A. to Building 10,000 Houses for The Homeless People” there is a start in construction to form 10,000 houses is currently underway where the contributions from Proposition HHH is being used to build these homes that will provide housing and services for those formerly impacted with homelessness. The set date for the first units are to be completed by December of 2022. According to an article written on Government Technology a new technique was found and that is the mapping project. It works around Los Angeles to try and help the epidemic and decrease the increasing rate of homelessness in the Los Angeles County. It would be able to track what specific cities seem worse and its framework would report to nonprofits to help with resources.

Although these new developments are in motion not all of them are set to go through and be finalized. Now that we have discussed the developments that are in motion but aren’t completed yet here is what we can expect in the near future in order for the Los Angeles County to help end this crisis of homelessness. In a viral video found on twitter posted by @ValaAfshar aHousign charity organization and a construction tech company have partnered together in Florida are currently undergoing their own projects to help end this crisis. Alexandria Lafci is 3D printing homes and has been said takes under a day but it’s not for certain this can go forward and actually work because the company and housing are undergoing some kinks to improve how the homes should range in size let alone look. The 3D printed houses could help families prevent poverty, unsafe living situations and many more hardships people go through.

According The the video this charity organization plans on using the technology to try and end homelessness globally. Alexandria did partner with an organization and plan on having their ultimate goal of price is to be narrowed down to $4,000 per house. Going back to the HHH if their proposal does along with their project and initially finishes all its units there will be almost 10,000 homes for the homeless which could essential make a dramatic drop of the homelessness rate in Los Angeles by 2026. Along with the plans of HHH surrounding cities around south Los Angeles construction has gone underway as of Monday April 9, 2019. The temporary shelter in South LA contains bed for 100 homeless residents living in the Chesterfield Square area. And there are definitely more underway. Although, new developments are currently underway we can look at a passage written by Rutger Bregman where he begins to explain what would happen if we gave the homeless in Los Angeles money for them to spend on whatever they wish. In this article by Bregman he states an experiment conducted in London, May 2009 on thirteen homeless men and will receive 3,000 euros in spending money and they don’t have to do anything in return.

On of the test subjects Simon was previously a heroin addict before having received the money. After reviewing the money Simon became clean and sober and took gardening classes. Simon eventually cleaned up his act completely and went back home to his two kids. When receive all of the thirteen men a year later seven out of the thirteen had roofs over their heads once again and two more were going to move into their own apartments. When giving money to those who need it can really go a long way and it can positively impact their lives. In Bregman’s article he continues to talk about the men who receive free money and what they have decided do with it he states all the men were no longer homeless stating they all have taken steps to better their lives and were all going through rehab, visiting families, and panning out a better future for themselves. Bregman’s article can relate to all aspects of past, present, and or future due to the big what if, what if the homeless people around Los Angeles where to receive free money, what would they do with it to better their lives? This can change the homelessness rates and population throughout L.A because most people who are on the streets can have a chance to get cleaned up and have their second chance at life.

The homelessness rate has been substantially increasing over the years but with these new developments we can help make a change to end the homelessness population of Los Angeles. Certain situations have also brought light to which people go through every day and the reality of homelessness. After times since homelessness became an issue we have seen an incredible amount of solutions each year even though the homelessness rate around Los Angeles county seems to be getting higher. Presented above were solutions that can help reduce homelessness in the greater Los Angeles area such as the shelters being built, a tax increase due to proposition HHH and others that can end the epidemic as one. Research shows that numerous amounts of resolutions have come to light in order to prevent further homelessness but the main focus is to help individuals get back on their feet and provide roofs over their heads and not having to constantly worry where they will be next and have that sense of safety and protection that everyone has a right to have.


Cite this paper

Homelessness Issue in Los Angeles. (2020, Sep 13). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/homelessness-issue-in-los-angeles/



What is Los Angeles doing to help homeless?
Los Angeles is implementing a variety of initiatives to address homelessness, including increasing affordable housing, providing supportive services, and partnering with non-profit organizations to offer resources and assistance to those in need. Additionally, the city has allocated significant funding towards homeless services and is working to improve coordination and collaboration among various agencies and stakeholders.
What is the main cause of homelessness in California?
The main cause of homelessness in California is the lack of affordable housing. The high cost of living in the state makes it difficult for people to find housing that they can afford, which can lead to homelessness.
What is the main issue of homelessness?
The main issue of homelessness is a lack of affordable housing. This is often compounded by mental illness, addiction, and poverty.
Why is homelessness a problem in California?
The biggest problem facing the youth today is the lack of jobs and the high cost of education.
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