Letters to the Editor: Is Rick Caruso’s ‘short-term’ homelessness plan what L.A. needs?
This letter to the editor is in response to a Newsom campaign that is misleading and irresponsible reporting by misrepresenting the City of Los Angeles’ homelessness plan.
An excerpt from the article: “Caruso said that at the end of his administration, the city will be spending $750 million on homelessness, but the majority will be used to house people who are experiencing emergency housing and homeless services.” The truth is that Caruso’s plan calls for $2.5 billion in spending over the next decade — more than doubling the amount of spending on homelessness — which does not currently exist in Los Angeles City Hall.
We believe the plan would do more to reduce homelessness than increase it.
More than two-thirds of those new housing “units” will not be affordable to low-income families — and many of those who will be able to afford the home will not be homeless people.
Many people are facing homelessness with no guarantee of stable, low-income housing, and others who are currently homeless will be left behind.
This is a city where young people are homeless for years — or, in some cases, decades — and our priority is to provide “emergency” housing for those who are experiencing the worst effects of poverty.
There are more people on the streets and in encampments than there are in the city’s shelters, soup kitchens and encampments. Yet, the City Council recently passed a plan that would dramatically increase the number of homeless people who will no longer live in encampments, and instead are housed in shelters, emergency housing and the public housing and housing trust properties where most people in Los Angeles County live.
This shift is consistent with the City’s plan to house and support those in emergency housing and homeless services, but is not the same as the plan that Caruso is promoting.
Caruso’s plan would not only fail to provide that housing for the people who are in crisis, it would actually increase homelessness.
The City of Los Angeles is now spending more than $750 million every year to house and care for people who are experiencing homelessness, not