Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images
In less than two months, the “Inside Safe” program, launched by Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, has relocated 247 homeless people to temporary shelters, and last week, 40 of them were installed in permanent housing.
“This is a very exciting time, because people are very grateful to be off the streets,” Mayor Bass told ABC.
From the first day of his administration in December 2022, Mayor Karen Bass declared a state of emergency over homelessness in the City of Los Angeles.
The city has more than 41,000 homeless people on its streets, so it still has a long way to go. Bass on Tuesday acknowledged some of the challenges they have faced, such as complaints about the conditions at one of the motels that serve as homeless housing.
“We had a problem recently with one of the motels. It is a challenge. We’ve been lucky in the sense that we’ve been able to find motels, but we need a lot more rooms than that,” the mayor said.
“The other thing that’s a challenge is that not all City Council districts have motels. We don’t want to send people from one end of the community to the other. We want to keep them close to where they were,” added the official.
Previously, a homeless encampment was located at 87th Street and Western Avenue in the south of the city and took up an entire block. Thanks to the mayor’s program, the encampment has not returned and part of the sidewalk is maintained with fences.
So far, six encampments occupied by homeless people have been cleared in the city of Los Angeles.. The places where they were included Cahuenga Boulevard and the 101 Freeway in Hollywood; two in Venice, one in Mar Vista and another one at 99th and Flower Street, in South Los Angeles, occupied by 30 people who agreed to be relocated to a temporary shelter.
“I deeply believe that we can solve homelessness right here in Los Angeles, and if we can solve it here, we can solve it anywhere else,” said Director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness Jeff Olivet.
Accompanied by Bass, Olivet toured Skid Row, a temporary shelter and substance abuse treatment center, during her visit to Los Angeles on Tuesday..
“We have to address the homelessness crisis. Inside Safe is a great example of how to do that, but we also need to address permanent housing and supportive services that help end homelessness. If we only do those two things and don’t prevent homelessness from happening in the first place, we would have failed,” Olivet said.
Bass mentioned that the key to succeed in this purpose is to align all forms of government.
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