Op-Ed: Tackling the Issue of Homelessness

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Tackling the Issue of Homelessness

by Laura Friedman

November 21, 2019

 

Homelessness. It is one of our state’s greatest challenges. Every night, over 130,000 Californians sleep on our streets. Homelessness has become a full-on crisis, one that has rightfully been the focus of policy discussions throughout the state. In response, we’ve put unprecedented resources and energy towards finding real and lasting solutions. Despite this, I know my constituents feel our efforts are not enough.

I’m not surprised. How can we think anything is getting done when every day we pass countless numbers of our peers, hurting, destitute and alone on the streets? We have an epidemic. And it’s easy to feel hopeless. But this crisis is solvable, although it won’t be easy or quick.

Earlier this year, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority reported that a staggering 58,936 persons are experiencing homelessness countywide – a 12% increase from last year. These numbers come at the same time that the County of Los Angeles has been able to move 21,631 people off of the streets and into permanent housing. That means that nearly 40% of the homeless population counted last year was successfully housed. The shocking truth is that as fast as we find homes for some residents, even more lose their housing.