LA is Spending Over $1 Billion to House the Homeless. It’s Failing.

LA is Spending Over $1 Billion to House the Homeless. It’s Failing.


We cannot help someone while they’re living in a tent. We need a triage-like approach. They’re not doing it at nearly the intensity or the urgency or the scope that we need it. This is Skid Row, a 53 square block area of downtown Los Angeles, where more than 2500 homeless individuals reside on the streets. California’s homeless population has jumped by more than 12% in the last five years, and it’s part of a national crisis. Skid Row is what I call it the worst
manmade disaster in the United States. There’s human waste on the sidewalks.
There’s all kinds of disease. Actually I lost my right leg on the streets of Skid Row from getting a staph infection, from coming in contact with human waste. Reverend Andy Bales is the CEO of Union Rescue Mission, which is the nation’s largest private homeless shelter. He says that the city of Los Angeles, which has the largest unsheltered
homeless population in America, has failed to deal with what’s become a
public health and humanitarian crisis. More than a thousand homeless people died on the streets of Los Angeles County last year according to government figures. Meanwhile, the city is spending more than a billion dollars on a long-term housing solution that likely will take more than a decade to complete. There’s a particular type of TB found only in the world on Skid Row. We’ve had typhus, medieval disease carried by fleas on rats. When you leave people on the streets, they are quickly devastated by what they experience. Homelessness destroys people physically, mentally, emotionally, educationally, vocationally, every way you can think of. And in LA there’s nowhere to go, right? We put a roof over at 25% of the people devastated by homelessness, we leave 75% on the streets. Los Angeles is now coming together to confront the greatest moral and humanitarian crisis of our time. Homelessness. In 2016 Los Angeles voters approved a
referendum to spend more than $1.2 billion building new housing for the homeless. It’s part of a plan championed by Los
Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, who declined our interview request. And I will accept nothing less than a home for every person who needs a roof over their head. We are here to end homelessness. The city set a target of 10,000 new housing units within a decade that we’re supposed to take between three and six years to build. But three years in just 1% of those apartments will be ready for occupancy by the end of 2019. It’s going to be too late. When they get to spend the money, they’re going to be triple the homeless there are out here now. A lot of these projects are taking forever to build. They need to find something now. Look at
them. They don’t have no place to go. Building anything in California isn’t easy. The state’s legislative analyst’s office found that increasing competition for limited housing is the primary driver of housing cost growth in coastal California, which has some of the nation’s highest housing prices and rents because local interest groups often use tools like zoning and the state’s environmental review law to delay or kill new housing projects. The shortage drives up prices and some living on the margins are priced out and turn to the streets. And even after voters approved the more than a billion dollars specifically to build housing for the increasing homeless population, a recent report by LA’s controller’s office attributed the delays and cost overruns largely to regulatory barriers, permitting challenges, and bureaucratic confusion. Meanwhile, the existing shelters are running out of space, threatening to force men like Jimmy Anderson back onto the streets of skid row. Soon the women and kids are going to take over the Rescue Union Mission and all the men is going to have to move out there back out here on the street. The city’s approach, known as Housing First, was adopted by municipalities nationwide after Utah reportedly reduced chronic homelessness by 91% by giving away permanent apartments with no strings attached. But state auditors later attributed those findings to a statistical error and building housing for the homeless is considerably more costly and complex in Los Angeles than in Salt Lake City. The city initially ballparked the permanent units at a median cost of $350,000 a piece. Three years later, the estimated costs rose to more than half a million per unit. Andy Bales says he saw it coming. You know I was a critic 10 years ago of this plan, even before it came about. It’s a very expensive way of spending all the resources on a few and leaving the many out in the cold. Bales wanted the city to allocate a portion of the money to nonprofits and shelters like his to provide temporary relief. And they laughed at me. They made fun of me and in the newspaper and here we are afterwards. There’s this group that is so dogmatic about permanent supportive housing as the solution. They think everybody deserves a $600,000 unit with a granite countertop, and anything short of that is not good enough. Bales says that given the current emergency, the city should reconsider its heavy focus on finding a long-term solution. If we put four of these up in each district, 15 districts, 60 total, we could get, I want you to hear this, we could get 13,000 people off the street. Union Rescue Mission just opened what’s called a Sprung Structure, a relatively inexpensive but sturdy and weather resistant tent with 120 beds. We cannot spend $600,000 per person per unit and ever get it done, but we could get there at $14,000 per bunk, in a Sprung Structure, and we could get there at $50,000 mobile homes or $100,000 container homes or $10,000 3-D printed concrete homes with a bathroom and kitchen and can be put up in 24 to 48 hours. We’ve got to think innovatively or we’re
going to have a bigger disaster on our hands. In terms of where to put these structures, the city owns more than 7500 lots. Though neighborhood councils regularly fight to keep shelters out. Property owners in Skid Row would like to see the police clear homeless encampments out of their neighborhood, which could also help to avert the public health crisis. But past court settlements prevent that, and the September ruling on a case out of Idaho from the U.S. Ninth Circuit Appeals Court found that doing so constitutes cruel and unusual punishment
when cities don’t have adequate shelter to accommodate everyone
living on the streets. Los Angeles city and county have signed
onto a lawsuit challenging that ruling. We just firmly believe that the police
are not an answer to homelessness. It should not be part of any kind of
homeless service system and definitely should not be criminalizing
people for basic behaviors. Becky Dennison works for Venice
community housing corporation, which opposes the criminalization
of sidewalk camping in Los Angeles. The idea that folks without housing are
out there by choice, or not trying to get into housing and we just have to arrest people or nothing else will happen is a complete false hood. At some point isn’t there a conflict of rights between say a property owner or a business owner who doesn’t want tents right in front of their business and the ability of someone to sleep on the sidewalk? How do you reconcile that conflict? Sidewalks should obviously
be available to everybody, so making sure they’re passable
and all of those kinds of things. It’s a way of sharing public space and
acknowledging that some folks are living in our public spaces because
they have no place else to go. But proponents of the lawsuit say the
city needs guidance from the courts on what constitutes adequate shelter before
investing in solutions that might free them to enforce anti camping laws. If there was a push for
more temporary housing, let’s say they built 30,000 beds, would that justify
prohibiting sidewalk campaign? I can’t imagine it does. If
we ever get to that point, maybe that’s a debate and a dialogue
we’ll have to have as a society, is there some level of control we want
to have over our streets and sidewalks? I would say no. Maybe there’s some
arguments to say yes, but we’re not there. We have to focus on solutions and get
away from this idea that somehow we’ll be able to fix our neighborhood problems by being able to arrest people. Given the lack of progress on permanent
or temporary housing, Bales is also hesitant to sign onto the
lawsuit for the time being. But I’m not signing on to remove people
from the streets until we have enough places to go. When we get that, then we can worry about asking somebody to leave the streets and go to this place. Under the increasing pressure in recent months, the city has erected a few of its own
Sprung Structures to address the crisis. Bales says it’s still not nearly enough. It’s ridiculous. I mean, who would want to leave 44,000 people on the streets to die while you stick with your very expensive plan to help a few? We do have a FEMA-like, Red Cross-like crisis going on with homelessness and it needs to be an immediate call to action to get everybody who’s willing under a roof.

100 thoughts on “LA is Spending Over $1 Billion to House the Homeless. It’s Failing.

  1. Imagine putting thousands of mentally ill and/or drug-addicted people into the same high rise buildings. No police presence, of course. That would be racist & intimidating.

  2. this is what democrat policies and rhetoric looks like when applied in real world situations. imagine, they want this for the entire country. if you have an IQ of over 50, you know what the smart vote is in 2020. unless you love smelling poop while walking through your town, you'd better wake tf up and see what's really going on here. Democrat policies are not good for people, the proof can't be any realer than this.

  3. Crisis management needs to stop lining pockets of government contractors. Homeless have skills, they need opportunities. Hire them to provide services.

  4. Amazing how the part of the country that always has their hand in every other State’s policies, standards, laws, etc… can’t even take care of themselves

    P.S.- I would love to see how they’re allocating that Billion dollars too

  5. California is big trouble if they don't get these people out of office fast……….and this money is going to these office people pocket that why they keep asking and asking the president for money….a billion dollar for what these office people get mad went the president said no no .

  6. This is govt money laundering. 1 billion dollars is more then enough. Get them into clinics and stop giving them free shit they arnt people they are zombies

  7. Insane…build housing, and it will be destroyed in no time…

    Unfortunately, the process has to unfold by letting them go… There's no way to save them by just giving them homes.

  8. lmfao they wanna give the homeless 600K units? bruh i worked my whole life to buy a 150K house….ima just go homeless get a free 600K home, free food bills paid…free drugs…bro these homeless people are living better than us…

  9. ROTFLMAO who the fuck designed this bunker beds. I've never been homeless (except when i was so drunk that i forgot where my home was) but even i understand why people will prefer to sleep on the street before they go into the bunker. Except during the very very cold days this is unacceptable. Tiny single safe appartments please.

  10. The liberal leftist system everyone. Largest disparity of human existence in america in the most liberal state in the country. Makes you think.

  11. The CEO of LAHSA, the Los Angeles government authority on homelessness just resigned. He was lauded by the mayor because he increase the size of the agency several times over while ignoring that the number of homeless increased under their watch. They just stole the tax dollars and spent it on hiring more government workers instead of helping the homeless. Where is the state attorney general? He must be in on the corruption because he’s not pursuing it. Where is the LA Times? It should be launching an investigation instead of pursuing social justice stories about irrelevancies.

  12. The REAL problem is that middle class wages have been stagnant since the 1970's. People work 40 hour weeks and barely make ends meet. Funneling tax dollars into housing the homeless does not solve this problem.

  13. Easy solution: (1) Make living on the streets illegal, along with all the disgusting things the homeless do. (2) Prison

  14. They could build 500,000 tiny homes with a budget of $2000 a home with that budget. That’s a pretty damn sweet home for a homeless person, and they don’t even have that many homeless people to need 500k if every person got there own

  15. Bring back indentured servitude. Any homeless person is guilty of many crimes against society. They and society will benefit greatly if they actually repay their debt to society.

    Some people (at certain points in their lives) aren’t cut out for freedom.

  16. & the a$$holes of California keep voting for DemonRats! LA constituents should be required to take an IQ test to have the rights to vote…

  17. Utah does not implement their "housing first" program. Complete fraud..that money was stolen..Utah doesn't have anything with the housing first program.

  18. Ppl would rather live on the streets than live on a bunk in a huge warehouse..most ppl are sick and that gets everyone else sick.

  19. There is money for combatting homelessness….trouble is only illegals are getting housing……certainly NOT the actual citizens or we veterans……no…veterans are expected to sleep on the same streets we defended.

  20. It's time to follow the money. I bet it's in a off Shore banking account and they spent a million on the homeless .

  21. Wanna help homelessness end… free housing, work in the hands of the workers, work programs, food going to the people and not to waste … They only want to rid the homeless for the business interest there, not to help humanity

  22. Serious question. Why build in an area that is so limited on space? Would it make sense to put that money into an account for each person and relocate them to a city with a lower cost of living and higher job openings?

    There are places that can hire them and with a couple of months worth of sustainment, the once homeless person will have the means, time, and flexibility during that time to get on their feet and take over their own housing payments.

  23. After salaries and taxes out of the $1billion, that leaves $1million. Now, at $1,000 a tent, they were $100, but the politicians bought tent stocks, the committee is struggling to find the land to put the tents on. So, as soon as they steal, through eminent domain, the land they need, then sell the land to themselves, the 100 tents they put up they will raffle off for $500 a ticket. Don't freak out! That tent comes with a 3 month guarantee from the Chief of Police in said district that the renters will be in no way harassed by the cops in any way shape or form. For 3 months. The Sheriff was silent. Since this is a democratic California charities function, the tent rent will not be due till the 10th of each month and the collections officers will take food stamps. Any changes will be mailed via bulk mailings each quarter. If you do not comply with the mailing, like saying you don't get mail at your tent, you will be immediately evicted and your tent will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. LSD or mushroom participants need not apply as you are always too high!

  24. I worked at the ER psych ward of a major inner city hospital.. the fact is, some of these people.. MANY of these peopLe, don’t want help. They’re severely mentally ill and/or addicted.. there’s no helping some of these people.. they love living this way

  25. Wow if I go to LA, will they build me a home too? I've been busting my ass for 25 years and can barely keep up with outrageous rent, and now I'm realizing that all I needed to do to get a home was give up and start doing drugs. LA, here I come!

  26. Utah has always been a Republican run State, that's why they can get things done. Sorry Californian, as long as your States and cities are run by Dem, nothing will get done. more of the same, years after years.

  27. This is due to the liberal policies an the democrats this is their fault and if you want this for your community than you go ahead and elect more liberal democrats. Not sure why anyone would elect them. All you got to do is look at the results of the policies and you know that they don't work. Sad that no one will listen and stop electing them. You don't have to take my word for it just look at what they have done to the states and the cities that the run and you will change our views on the policies they are pushing.

  28. Housing first doesn’t work for homeless people that are mentally ill or struggling with substance abuse. Treatment first > housing first

  29. such a huge concentration of homeless people in those tents, its nearly a camp… hey that gives me an idea for a solution to the homeless problem. -_-

  30. fuck California… they have done this to themselves… just like Portland, Seattle and every other major city run by liberals

  31. Yet, nothing has changed. I lost hope in helping homeless people. Rather send all of them in prison. They’re a real big necessity in society. I rather spend my time helping dogs and cats. Help them find a home.

  32. are [THEY] OUT-OF-THEIR MINDS… the voters AUTHORIZED $1 Billion Dollars but [WE] didn't Authorize this STUPID plan to build FREE high end apartments for just a few… STUPID STUPID STUPID

  33. A billion dollars for the homeless on the streets. They also need a billion dollars for more man power Police, emergent medical personnel, Garbage and humane waste disposal. Transportation, and emptying shelters, and hotels and motels, no permanent residents in hotels and motels.

  34. I don't know what they need to do to fix it, but it's clear that the powers that be in LA/California doesn't want to get them off the streets. If they did, the expensive red tape we keep hearing about would 'magically' disappear. Note: that is the 'powers that be', not necessarily the government leaders (some may actually want to do something), but whom ever is in conjunction with them that is pulling the strings to make it an impossible fix. There are some truly heartless people out there.

  35. I see this going all over if we keep allowing this to grow , move them to work camps and let them grow food and earn money and save on gas etc … Build build build lol

  36. She is against keeping sidewalks free of homeless people….I wonder what her narrative would be if she had people living right in front of her home….

  37. If they live like that on the street, how do you think they're going live under a "free" home? Most of those people are homeless by choice. A lot of the people shown in this video are tweakers and you want to give them a free ride on the tax payers dollar. Liberal logic at it's best.

  38. Of course corruption is the way it all works in LA. This is Kawleefornya by God and that is how it all works in spades ! All of the contractors and subs and many go betweens are raping the gov tit bigly. It is of course all a total sham and there is no crisis at all just horrid mismanagement of funds and people . These people who are there from many bad life choices/decisions that led to drugs and alcohol addictions by 98% of them. That is a statistical fact not hyperbole. So why do we NOT see video of the inside of the $600K apartment units with marble counter tops and what other extreme niceties ? Because they do not want you to know the truth of their scams ! It would be far too obvious and many would likely go to jail for fraud and dereliction of their duties. It is now a money making scheme with your tax dollars funding it all as others get rich on the backs of these distorted people who are actually victims of their making ! Liberalism gone full circle for all to see.

    Clearly Garcetti and anybody connected to him are straight up criminals ! That would include all the police as well for sure and city council and many others in the loop. There is zero common sense in Kawleefornya, so in a perverted but accurate way, the people there deserve exactly what they get because they keep voting in these criminals and nobody ever fights back ! The only thing Kawleefornya has led the nation in within the last 30 years is stupid in spades and we see the results clearly !

  39. THEY ARE GOING TO BE HOMELESS AGAIN NO MATTER WHAT.. THE WORLD IS CHANGING SO FAST BUT THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT AT ALL.. THE MOTIVATION IS GONE.. DETERMINATION TO GET BETTER IS GONE.. THE WILL TO FIGHT HARDER IS GONE.. TO LIVE THE BEST LIFE IS GONE..

  40. Those dope addicts dont deserve housing. I don't feel bad at all for them. They need rehab before housing bcz they're all on meth, heroin and pills. Like I said, they don't deserve free housing, fk that. Besides, Agenda 21 will take care of them.

  41. Only $600k per person? Idiot politicians. Not to mention … what will the cost be of all the legal, medical and other costs ? Wouldn't it be much cheaper and quicker for the gov't to exercise eminent domain on many of the commercial buildings in the areas where the troubled homeless congregate and convert those building to high volume econo lodging?

  42. How about eliminating worthless California regulations, allow manufacturing with no red tape, and overturn Democratic control of the State that has done nothing but keep the people reliant on State funded "solutions" that raise the tax/cost of life. When will Californians wake the hell up? The entire establishment needs to be turned on its head. Anything else is a bandaid on a hemorrhage. This is all while they worry about creating a new sex, because everyone knows, thousands of years of biology had it wrong. Lol

    I have a house for sale if you're interested.

    Thanks for letting me get that out. 😂

  43. Do you guys remember that scene from TWD when one of Negan's henchmen killed the entire trash-city camp, thus turning everyone into a Zombie and the surviving leader of the camp had to ground up everyone or else she was going to be eaten? I think L.A. has to do something like that, otherwise the bubonic plague is going to take everyone with it!

  44. There is no helping people like this. If you give them an apartment they will destroy it and be back in the streets in weeks. All you can do with them is to simply to run them off and keep them out. Kick them into the desert to die.

  45. And if the homeless refuse to cooperate?
    1) if they break the law, arrest them.
    2) if they are sick, either physically or mentally, put them in a hospital.
    3) if they refuse public assistance or the norms of society then see line 1.
    These advocates are still not providing solutions. They go to their own homes and ignore the problem.

  46. Top ten reasons why KKKommiefornia sucks:

    1. DemonKKKommieKKKrats

    2. DemonKKKommieKKKrats

    3. DemonKKKommieKKKrats

    4. DemonKKKommieKKKrats

    5. DemonKKKommieKKKrats

    6. DemonKKKommieKKKrats

    7. DemonKKKommieKKKrats

    8. DemonKKKommieKKKrats

    9. DemonKKKommieKKKrats

    10. DemonKKKommieKKKrats

  47. We already have feasible housing in the form of taxpayer funded elected officals' offices. Let those evening hours that go to waste double as homeless housing. Then we'll see politicos move fast to reduce the numbers.

  48. That lady makes no sense at all. She offers no solutions just says that we can't arrest the homeless. Real helpful lady.

  49. How many of these homeless crisis occur in non-Dem dominant areas? N-o-n-e.
    And how many years, how many plans, how many promised results have succeeded?
    Keep on succeeding Dems!
    Oh, it's not getting better.

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