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    The Homelessness Crisis in LA: How Did We Get Here?
    #108: It's no surprise that homeless is a top concern among Angelenos. The best-available info at this point says there are more than 69,000 people experiencing homeless in L.A. County – a 4% rise from the last time the survey was conducted in 2020. In a recent LAist survey of 4,339 people, two-thirds of respondents said it's the main thing L.A. Mayor Karen Bass needs to prioritize. One-third of folks says it causes them stress. Mayor Bass seems to know this. In December she declared a state of emergency and pledged to put 17,000 unhoused people into a mix of interim and permanent housing. She also launched her signature program Inside Safe, which aims to give people living outdoors immediately housing in motels or hotels. Elected officials and local advocates have been trying to address the issues that lead to homelessness for years, but we’re still here…and many are wondering…how did we get here? How did LA end up with the largest unhoused population in the country? Who’s in charge of what? And how do people ACTUALLY get help? In this episode we'll try to answer these questions. Guest: Nick Gerda, unhoused communities reporter for LAist Wondering how you can help? Here are some tips from Nick's reporting on LAist: Request homeless outreach services for a particular unhoused person: Contact LAHSA’s Homeless Outreach Portal. But it could take a few days for an outreach team to show up “due to high demand,” according to LAHSA. Volunteer and donate to organizations serving unhoused people. Here’s LAHSA’s list of volunteer opportunities by region in L.A. County. And the city’s volunteer referral program: VolunteerLA. You can also volunteer for next year’s point-in-time count at Support new affordable housing development in neighborhoods: The shortage of affordable housing is widely considered the main driver of the homelessness crisis. Developing more housing — especially affordable and permanent supportive homes — through faster city approvals and support from neighbors — is considered key to addressing the issue. If you want to help these efforts you can speak at public meetings. Lease to voucher holders: Property owners can lease their vacant properties to people who have federal and local housing vouchers. L.A. County’s program to support landlords is called LeaseUp (more info available here). For more, check out Nick’s guide: Your Guide To Understanding Homelessness In LA

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