Is This Tent Part Of The Solution To L.A.'s Homeless Crisis?


When a delegation of members of the Trump Administration were in Los Angeles this week to see the homeless problem first hand, they saw homeless encampments with camping tents on sidewalks, under overpasses and in riverbeds.

Then, they saw a different kind of tent on Skid Row that some believe could be at least part of the solution to the city's homeless problem.

The tent is made by a company called Sprung. It's a large semi-permanent fabric tent that has the ability to be heated or air conditioned. They are quick to set up, and can house dozens of people. In fact, the one that's in the parking lot of the Union Rescue Mission, can house 120 people, and starting next month, 120 homeless women will call it home.

The Rev. Andy Bales is with the mission, and he says these tents are the same ones that are used in places where natural disasters strike, telling NBC4:

"This is a disaster. It may be man-made. It may be neglect, but we need to treat it like a natural disaster and move on it immediately."

He says these tents can be a solution to the ongoing homeless problem. He's pushing Mayor Yoga Pants to help construct 88 more of these tents throughout the city.

They can be put up quickly. They're more affordable than regular structures. There are innovative ways to address homelessness and we're not addressing them deeply enough"

There's another tent like this in Hollywood, which provides shelter to 70 people. It cost the city $3 million. The one at the Union Rescue Mission reportedly cost just $1 million. And San Diego has three Sprung structures in place, and officials there claim that it has helped reduce homelessness by 6%.

BUT, the problem is that even if these are a good solution to the homeless problem, right now there's only one licensed contractor in California that can construct and put up the tents. But Rev. Bales says that's where the feds could help, suggesting that they could use the National Guard to help get them constructed.

Mayor Yoga Pant's office has not commented on the structures. When asked by NBC4 how many of these tents the city is constructing, they didn't answer, instead saying that "our goal is to have 27 Bridge Home shelters open by the end of the fiscal year." The Bridge Home shelters are apparently different, costlier structures.

And let's be honest, even if these structures are available, there will still be people who refuse to live in one.


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