The nation’s epicenter for street homelessness is pushing forward with the mayor’s ambitious plan to move unhoused residents – 17,000 by next year – from tent cities to hotels rooms and eventually to permanent housing.
Momentum for clearing city streets of unhoused people has been building nationwide. Portland, Oregon, Washington, D.C., and the state of Missouri are among the high-profile places banning or reducing tent encampments in recent months.
All eyes, though, may be on Los Angeles where about 69,000 residents live in shelters, on streets, in cars or in temporary housing in LA County. Pressure to solve the homelessness crisis in LA city and county is so great that Mayor Karen Bass says that’s why she ran for the city’s top job.
If Bass’ plan is successful, it will have an outsized effect on national homelessness numbers and contribute to President Joe Biden’s goal of reducing U.S. homelessness by 25% in the next two years, she told USA TODAY.
“My appeal to the White House is, ‘just come to LA. You can meet your entire national goal by helping us in LA,'” Bass said.