Have you ever been to Los Angeles? No, I’m not talking about Hollywood, the Staples Center, or Universal Studios. I’m talking about Downtown LA. As someone who grew up in New York City and still frequents there often, I was astounded by the stark differences between the two cities when I took a family trip to LA last summer. There were two things that jumped out at me, and they are somewhat related. First, no one walks around in Downtown LA. It is a city dominated by the automobile. The sidewalks are practically deserted. Second, there are homeless people EVERYWHERE. Like 3 per block everywhere…during the day. So if you haven’t been to Downtown LA, imagine the scene I just laid out. Nearly the only people walking around in Downtown LA are homeless!
The site was so shocking that it still bothers me to this day. The attitude in LA was that it was “normal” for this many people to be without a home. That is the reason I wrote my white paper on homelessness in LA. From my research, it appears that homelessness has not found a permanent cure. Recently, there has been a movement to put up homes for the homeless, no matter how drugged out they are, and then attempt to cure them while they are housed. The idea is to get as many people off the street as possible. I think this is a positive direction. But it is not enough. Thus, my white paper details some creative ways in which LA can reduce its homeless population. Enjoy!