Homelessness In Los Angeles
Updated: Jul 17
Spent three days in Downtown Los Angeles to enjoy the Christmas holiday season. Whilst exploring the specialty coffee shops around, the monstrous billboard, "Liberty For The Homeless", painted on a building located in the section between the E. 8th St. and Hill St. in the Downtown Los Angeles stroked me like a thunder.
While most of us is celebrating with friends and family for the gifted birth of the Jesus Christ and wishing the Santa Claus be kind enough to drop off a big present at our warm, cozy home. In before the dawn flipped the cozy California sunny day into a breezing cold night, homeless people with full of dirts and minimum clothes are trying really hard to solicit and search the trash bins for food and essentials to survive another day. Quite a few looks like they already lost their faith wondering on the street like a soulless zombie to wait for their final day comes. A proportion of them seems to have either physical or mental issue, without the ability to re-join back performing in the society as wished. Even with the ability to work 60 hours per week at a minimum wage, the total amount of earnings from any entry-level job would not be able to sustain their basic living, like paying rent, getting food and having insurance coverage.
Such a dramatic opposite scene, and I ponder if anything more can be done to help.
Regardless of why or how today the wealth of our society is unevenly distributed, and the Middle Class is too statistically proven shrinking in the States, I believe the City, State and Federal governments are accountable for aiding and fostering the homeless in the reason of humanity, social welfare and demonstrating their governance.
In 2016, voters in the Los Angeles County and City approved a $4.75B total budget to combat homelessness, and $1.2B of this budget is to build 10,000 homeless and low-income housing units in the next decade. But today, a new study says LA's count underestimates the number of homeless people in the region, in which annual projection should be 122,382 instead of 55,188 counted on Jan 2017.
Without the need of a high maths calculation skill, we all could immediately figure the resource spent could not resolve this serious social problem.
The City of Los Angeles, in 2012, thus began embarking on one of the largest planning initiatives: re:Code LA, a comprehensive revision of the City's 1946 zoning code.
In five years afterward, the Downtown Los Angeles ("DTLA") has a major facelift with more than dozens of new skyscrapers, lofts and apartments and office buildings, and more is still in construction, giving the Central City a brand new life. It has been a part of DTLA's ongoing revitalization to shape the future of the district, "by reinforcing its jobs orientation; supporting a transit and pedestrian environment; growing and supporting its residential community; strengthening the unique character of each neighborhood; and creating linkages between Downtown's many distinct districts," per the DTLA 2040.
Very unfortunate that none of these was meant to build as a safe shelter or create any suitable job opportunity for the homelessness. And the key beneficials of this major project are seemingly the bankers, property owners and construction developers to me, but not the resident voters themselves.
Is there more we all can do to create a better Los Angeles community? My answer is a "YES".
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