Skid Row, Los Angeles – Funding for Housing

Background

Citizens and Governments already grappling with Financial and Homelessness issues were dealth an even tougher hand with the onslaught of Coronavirus.

Here is how it is playing out in the City and County of Los Angeles.

 

Stories

Source:- CBS Los Angeles
Story:- Judge Orders LA To Offer Shelter To All Unhoused Skid Row Residents By October
Date Published:- 2020-April-21st
Link:- Link

A federal judge Tuesday ordered the city and county of Los Angeles to offer housing to the entire unhoused population of Skid Row by October.

“It’s damning,” Elizabeth Mitchell, attorney for the plaintiffs in the case, said. “It’s nothing less than just an indictment of the failure of leadership that we have seen for the last 20 years.”

Fed up by what he called government inaction, bureaucratic paralysis, and a lack of accountability, Judge David O. Carter said in his order that all single women and unaccompanied children must be offered shelter within three months, families in four months, and every single unhoused resident should be given the opportunity to come off the streets by Oct. 18.

“All of the rhetoric, promises, plans, and budgeting cannot obscure the shameful reality of this crisis — that year after year, there are more homeless Angelenos, and year after year, more homeless Angelenos die on the streets,” Carter wrote.

It’s the latest order in a sweeping lawsuit about homelessness in Los Angeles and came just one day after Mayor Eric Garcetti vowed to spend nearly $1 billion to get people off the streets.

Garcetti called the timetable set by Carter “unprecedented.”

“I want to read [the order] and understand how [the judge] would envision that happening, where the rooms, the real estate, etc. (are),” he said. “I’ve had great conversations with the judge.

“Obviously that would be an unprecedented pace, not just for Los Angeles but for any place I’ve ever seen for homelessness in America,” Garcetti continued. “And I want to be as bold and as ambitious as him, but like I said, I think many of us feel it’s not just about getting people into shelter, it’s getting people into homes.”

Carter blasted Garcetti in the order, writing that despite the power to declare the homelessness crisis an emergency — which would allow the city to “bypass the bureaucracy and eliminate the inefficiencies that currently stifle progress — the mayor “has not employed the emergency powers given to him by the City Charter despite overwhelming evidence that the magnitude of the homelessness crisis is “beyond the control of the normal services of the city government.”

He also ordered that the nearly $1 billion proposed in Garcetti’s budget plan “be placed in escrow forthwith, with funding streams accounted for and reported to the court within seven days.”

The 110-page order was in response to a request submitted last week in the year-old federal lawsuit by the plaintiffs that sought immediate court intervention to compel the city and county to quickly and effectively address the city’s homelessness crisis.

But Skip Miller, outside counsel for the county, said Carter’s order went “well beyond” what the plaintiffs had asked for. He added that the county was evaluating its options, including the possibility of an appeal to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

L.A. Mission CEO Troy Vaughn said it’s a positive step for Skid Row, but he said he hopes that it doesn’t get tied up in yet another court battle.

“It would hurt my heart if we spend so much time in appealing in court that the resources never get to the people who need it the most,” he said.

Vaughn also believes that bringing the residents of Skid Row to the table to tell those in positions of power what they want and need would be most effective.

Carter also mandated that the city auditor examine all public money spent in recent years to combat homelessness, including funds from a 2016 bond measure approved by voters.

As of January 2020, there were more than 66,400 unhoused people living in Los Angeles County — 41,000 of whom lived within the L.A. city limits.

Source:- CBS Los Angeles
Story:- Judge Extends Order To Relocate Homeless People Living Near LA Freeways
Date Published:- 2020-May-22nd
Link:- Link

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The federal judge, who last week ordered homeless encampments adjacent to Los Angeles freeways be immediately cleared, extended the order Friday, giving county and city officials until Sept. 1 to agree on a plan for relocation.

U.S. District Judge David O. Carter cited health and safety concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic in his May 15 order that demanded the removal and relocation of up to 7,000 people living in camps beneath and around the city’s freeway system by the following Friday.

But after city and county attorneys urged Carter to drop or delay the order, the judge indicated he would oversee the clearance in stages, starting with a June 12 status report.

“At minimum, this report shall detail a plan for establishing shelter and clearing overpasses, underpasses, and ramps in each council district or supervisorial district no later than Sept. 1,” Carter wrote. “The court reserves the authority to advance the deadline of Sept. 1 in the event that the interim status reports do not demonstrate satisfactory progress towards compliance with the preliminary injunction.”

When asked about the modified order Friday, Mayor Eric Garcetti said he was very optimistic that all parties involved would be able to come together to find a humane solution to relocate Angelenos living on the streets near freeways and take bold action in addressing overarching issues surrounding housing.

“I love this judge,” he said. “I love his impatience. I love his focus. I love his passion, and I love that he is offering the broad shoulders of the federal court to continue to build on the progress that we’ve laid down here.”

The ruling came as part of settlement talks in a lawsuit filed in March by the L.A. Alliance for Human Rights — a coalition of Skid Row-area business owners, formerly homeless and disabled city dwellers —that accused the city and county of Los Angeles of not doing enough to address the homeless problem downtown, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And while the plaintiffs commended the judge’s order, calling it a “compassionate step to protect a significant portion of homeless persons and the community from likely harm,” local government officials said in court filings that it would interfere with complex policy matters and did not “cite authority for its extraordinary judicial action.”

The county said it was exploring its options Friday, including a possible appeal to what it believes is an order “not supported by the law.”

“We believe we must focus our immediate efforts on the most vulnerable individuals who are unhoused, including seniors vulnerable to exposure to COVID-19,” Vanessa Martinez, county spokesperson, said in an email. “The County will take necessary actions to ensure that the unprecedented progress we and our partners have made to ambitiously address long-standing systemic problems is not derailed.”

Martinez said the county lauded the intention and urgency of the court and was working as fast as it could to get as many people housed as it could.

“We are committed to addressing the homelessness crisis in our communities and, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, are urgently focused on accelerating the progress that has already been made to house thousands of people and help the most vulnerable among us,” she said.

More information about resources available to people experiencing homelessness in the wake of the pandemic can be found on the county’s website.

 

Referenced Work

  1. CBS Los Angeles ( KCBS-TV – Channel 2 )
    • Judge Orders LA To Offer Shelter To All Unhoused Skid Row Residents By October
      Published:- 2021-April-21st
      Link
    • Judge Extends Order To Relocate Homeless People Living Near LA Freeways
      Published:- 2020-May-22nd
      Link
  2. Wikipedia
    • Skid Row, Los Angeles
      Link

 

Parting Shot

Los Angeles is affectionately known as the City of Angels.

Please keep its people in your prayers and thoughts.

Help as you can with kindness, jobs, social services, and most importantly grace.

Avoid endless debates and dialogues.

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