Karen Bass, Mayor of LA, has declared homelessness a citywide emergency

Upon taking office as mayor of Los Angeles, Karen Bass made combating homelessness a top priority.

She went to the city’s Emergency Operations Center on Monday to file the paperwork necessary to make it official.

The declaration “would recognize the seriousness of Los Angeles’ predicament and break new ground to maximize the capacity to urgently relocate people indoors,” according to a statement from Bass’ office.

The problem of homelessness in Los Angeles

According to the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count conducted by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, at least 41,980 people experienced homelessness in the city of Los Angeles during a three-day survey this year (LAHSA).

At least 69,144 people in Los Angeles County were homeless, according to the same research.

The report found that the number of homeless people in Los Angeles County will increase by 4.1% by the year 2020, while the number will increase by 1.7% in the city of Los Angeles itself.

According to LAHSA, residents were able to remain in their homes during the epidemic thanks to federal aid and local regulations implemented during the COVID era, such as eviction moratoriums and rental assistance.

However, according to LAHSA, many of these policies have either expired or are about to end, leaving the homeless and those at risk of homelessness without any protections.

Bass’s track record on ending homelessness

To quote her campaign website: “Bass will lead on mental health and substance misuse treatment” and “House 15,000 individuals by the end of year one, substantially reduce street homelessness, end street encampments.”

Bass, while serving in the House of Representatives, helped secure millions of dollars earlier this year for initiatives that provide permanent housing for homeless Angelenos, as well as for enterprises that offer job training and career development opportunities for the homeless and those in precarious housing situations.

In addition, she supported allocating funds toward various substance misuse prevention and treatment initiatives, such as family-based and residential wrap-around services and outpatient drug treatment.

Bass stated in a statement back in March that the expenditures were “coming at a crucial moment” to “fight homelessness, promote neighborhood safety, and assist families with the escalating costs of living in our congressional district.”

Now that the federal government has set aside these additional monies, it is imperative that these resources be dispersed to local communities without delay.

Source: ABC News

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