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LA Could Be Ordered To Take 35,000 Homeless People Off The Street

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A federal lawsuit alleging negligence in how we deal with homelessness could have massive implications for Los Angeles County.

It’s now moving towards a settlement, and could likely result in a judicial consent decree.

One option on the table: requiring the city and county of L.A. to provide shelter for 60% of the homeless population, which would mean as many as 35,000 beds.

To give that number some context, here’s how well we’re doing under current initiatives:

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A Bridge Home program: In 2018, L.A. Mayor Garcetti promised 26 shelters would be open by July this year, providing 2,000 beds.

Proposition HHH: 140 buildings providing 7,500 units of permanent, supportive housing have been proposed.

  • So far, only one building with 62 units has opened. (Almost 1,700 units are under construction at the end of the first quarter of 2020).

Emergency COVID-19 beds in city recreation centers: Garcetti promised toopen 42 city recreation centers offering 6,000 beds.

  • So far the initiative has approximately 1,000 beds in 24 recreation centers. Even if all 42 were to open, their total capacity would be approximately 2,000 beds, owing to the need for social distance inside, according to court documents.

Project Roomkey: Governor Newsom announced the state’s drive to move 15,000 people into leased hotel rooms.

  • As of May 7, about 1,900 people have been moved indoors in Los Angeles County.

One way to quickly achieve the large numbers: opening government sanctioned campsites, on publicly owned land. The idea has been unpopular for decades, but now, it’s an idea that’s slowly gathering support.

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