Homeless advocates Blame Elected Leaders For Rise in Homelessness

Some homeless activists in L.A. say elected leaders/ like Mayor Eric Garcetti are making the crisis worse. Michael Weinstein with the Aids Healthcare foundation says the homeless population has gone up since voters approved two separate housing initiatives. "Every day that somebody lays their head down on the pavement is a disgrace. This is one of the richest cities in the world," he said.

He has also accused local leaders of having secret partnerships with luxury developers.

"The primary responsibility rests on the mayor," he said. "In this district where we are sitting, he engineered a gentrification program that has resulted in thousands of people in this community being dislocated."

Weinstein added that, "If you're trying to get to the bottom of how this crisis happened and what's making it worse - you've got to look at predominantly what's happening at city hall." Voter initiatives designed to help the homeless have been a complete failure, he states. "It (the homeless population) will get worse. It will hit 100,000 before you know it."

L.A. County's homeless count was more than 52,000 people last year.

Activists say politicians should focus on rent control and using old hotels for the homeless. The county estimates that to house low-income renters would require a half million new units.

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