L.A. City, County and Federal Officials in Talks to Help the Homeless


LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A deal with the Trump administration to provide funds and land to house and help the homeless in Los Angeles and elsewhere in Los Angeles County is closer to being reached thanks to a series of phone calls, it was reported today.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson Wednesday and sent him a letter expressing his appreciation for federal resources, including money and land, offered to the city, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“Los Angeles is already taking bold steps forward, and more emergency assistance from our federal partners could help us scale up our work, and get our homeless neighbors off the street more quickly,” Garcetti spokesman Alex Comisar told The Times.

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Kathryn Barger also spoke by phone with Carson, according to her spokesman, Tony Bell.

“We're asking for anything that can help us solve this homelessness problem,” Bell said. “Mental health treatment has to be a top ingredient in the mix, in addition to other supportive services, including job training and veteran outreach.”

Carson tweeted Wednesday he “looks forward to a new partnership” with Garcetti and Barger “that will benefit our fellow citizens.”

President Donald Trump on Monday tweeted if “the city or state in question is willing to acknowledge responsibility, and politely asks for help from the Federal Government, we will very seriously consider getting involved in order to make those poorly run Democrat Cities Great Again!”

Garcetti plans to meet with Carson in Washington D.C. during the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting, scheduled for Jan. 22-24, the mayor's office told The Times.

These discussions follow a visit to Los Angeles by Carson and other Trump administration officials in September to tour shelters and witness first- hand the growing number of encampments on city streets.

Carson and Garcetti did not meet at that time, but representatives from both offices met and toured Jordan Downs public housing in Watts and skid row, The Times reported.

Union Rescue Mission CEO Rev. Andy Bales, told The Times he was “thrilled” with the news of federal and local cooperation on homelessness in Los Angeles.

“It's an answer to prayers,” Bales said. “I know the folks who are devastated on the streets. They're probably praying as well. This could be an answer to all of our prayers.”

Photo: Getty Images

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