FACTS

    The city of Los Angeles has seen a 14.2% increase in homelessness since last year, which doesn’t include the numbers since the coronavirus pandemic hit. The state of California has the highest homeless rate in the nation despite their billion plus dollar budget for homelessness.

    LEFT

    The Left believes racism has a major part to play in homelessness. The new executive director of the Homeless Services Authority, Heidi Marston, said “Homelessness is without question a byproduct of racism, which is woven into the fabric of every system nationwide.” An LA Times article reported that the percentage of homelessness among the black community was 34% despite blacks making up only 8% of the city. The LA County Supervisor, Mark Ridley-Thomas, said homelessness cannot be dealt with without “confronting systemic bias in criminal justice, zoning policies, lending practices and child welfare.” They are calling on the federal government to take greater measures to provide every American a “decent home” and have criticized “the wealthiest country on the history of the planet” for failing to do so.

    “For us, COVID has unmasked the underlying realities that exist within these communities and exposed how significant the disparities are and how our institutions are failing to respond to them. Homelessness is the most deadly and stark example of institutional failure that exists.”

    Miguel Santana, former Chief Administrative Officer for LA city

    RIGHT

    The Right believes that LA’s response to the homeless pandemic in recent decades has caused it to “become an iron cage of the social state, with the highest concentration of homelessness, addiction, and overdose deaths in Los Angeles County.” It is argued that in 2006, Broken Window policing drastically decreased crime and death in Skid Row, which is a 50 block stretch of one of the most dense homeless populations in the US. Since the city discontinued these measures on the basis that it “criminalized homelessness,” crime has increased steadily. “The truth is that homelessness is not primarily a housing problem but a human one,” said a New York Post article, adding that the city’s housing and harm reduction approach has not worked.

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