Paul K. Haeder: Every single day I get the same memo – “What are we going to do with 7.1 billion people on earth, and who gets the brass ring and which ones are just too expensive for our own survival and love of the good life?”
Over 600,000 people in the United States are unsheltered or unhoused. Although the number of homeless in the U.S. has grown over the past 30 years, modern day homelessness is not a new phenomenon. According to Wikipedia, in England in 1547 a bill was passed that subjected the homeless to two years servitude and branding with a "V" as the penalty for the first offense and death for the second.
Walter Brasch: The homeless live beneath bridges, in subway tunnels, on the streets, or if the shelters aren’t filled, in protected areas with cots for beds, and grocery carts for what few possessions they have.
Anonymous Girl in LA: Like many others, only my closest friends know of my situation—the ones whose spare bedroom I occupied or whose couches and floors I’ve slept on the past couple of years while trying to get back on my feet.
Sandra Hernandez: Last month, county officials promised to spend $500,000 to establish a rapid response system that would provide emergency shelter to the estimated 400 individuals living along the riverbed. Yet as the storm passed there was no sign of any kind of coordinated government response.
Randy Shaw: Far superior would be a formula that incentivizes local spending by requiring some form of a county matching funds.
Diane Lefer: The slogan goes “Nothing About Us Without Us” and over the past several years I’ve watched as grassroots community leaders take the lead in initiatives championed by St. John’s Well Child and Family Center and its CEO Jim Mangia.
Why Is Homelessness Growing in Some Parts of Los Angeles County, Falling in Others? Which Programs Are Working, Which Are Not—and Why?
Randy Shaw: Cities have known since the 1990’s that a combination of affordable housing and support services—known now as “supportive housing”—dramatically reduces homelessness.
Eddie Rivera: Criminalizing the homeless through laws and policies is only creating more criminals, and is a poor use of resources that results in more costs to cities.
Deb LaShever: LA City is wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars to criminalize and harass unhoused people. This does not solve anything!
Irene Monroe: Just as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people transformed the pejorative term “queer” into a positive word of self-reference, Christians transformed the word “Christian” into one of self-reverence.
Tully Mackay-Tisbert: Jymm has two Purple Hearts. He left L.A.’s streets to live on his own — then ended up in the hospital.
David Bacon: This part of downtown L.A. remains contested terrain these days, as swanky boutiques and cafes have cropped up and touch a world without stable housing for thousands of people.