Los Angeles officials have made a big deal about 'fixing' the homeless problem in its streets.
So, a homeless outreach agency, called Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), was created to help move those living on the streets into either shelters, housing or treatment centers.
They have failed miserably.
Now, that's not just our opinion. According to the Los Angeles Times, an audit by L.A. City Controller Rob Galperin found that LAHSA has failed to meet more than HALF of their goals for the last two fiscal years.
What kind of goals were they supposed to hit?
Of the homeless people they assessed:
- 10% were supposed to be placed in permanent housing, they housed only 4%.
- 20% were supposed to be placed in shelters, only 14% ended up in shelters.
- 25% were supposed to be referred to treatment for substance abuse, only 6% were referred for treatment.
- 25% were supposed to be referred for mental health treatment, only 4% were referred for treatment.
The director of LAHSA's operations, Heidi Marston told the Times that there is only so much they can do, LAHSA "can't place people in shelter or housing that has yet to be built or is blocked."
Galperin says the goals that the city set were 'not unreasonable', telling the Times, "Quite frankly, they are setting a pretty low bar to begin with. If you can't meet the low bar, that's a problem."
The audit also urges the city and county to set up more short-term resources like mobile showers, restrooms, storage facilities and waste services, to help those living on the streets because those are things that can be done immediately.
"You look at when civil emergencies happen around the world. This is what we have on our streets right now." Galperin said. "Unfortunately, the city is not treating it quite as the emergency it is."