Following the release of the latest report stating that Los Angeles' homeless population rose 12%, now totaled at more than 36,000, Councilman Mike Bonin is tackling the issue. In a statement released today, Bonin points to the "efforts" Los Angeles has made to reduce the number of homeless on the streets, but the initial causes are creating more than we are prepared to fix, he says.
"This is a huge crisis and a shameful indictment of the decades of poor policy choices that have allowed homelessness to grow."
The councilmemberAccording to his report, the council member acknowledges that there have been several attempts to remedy the issue including, declarations of emergency, the development of comprehensive strategies, voter approval of taxes to address homelessness, and the launch of new programs.
So where is our money going!?
"We are housing more people than ever in Los Angeles, but not nearly as quickly as people are becoming homeless."
Well, one solution to this he says - more shared housing. Basically setting up homeless dorms. Earlier this week, Bonin also proposed a law, named the Empty House Penalty. This would punish landlords who intentionally keep residential units vacant. It will also seek ways to enforce certain laws regarding units that are kept off the market.
"This is a humanitarian crisis as severe as we have ever seen in a modern American metropolis, and the count results make clear that there is not a simple or single solution waiting to be discovered. We have years of hard work ahead of us to offer aid to those in need and relief to neighborhoods overwhelmed by encampments."