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Morning Briefing: How LA’s Homeless System Is Failing

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A homeless encampment on First Street in downtown L.A. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Good morning, L.A.

Halcyon Selfmade has lived in L.A. for several years, ever since his family in Tennessee rejected him for coming out as transgender. During most of these recent years, Hal and his partner have been unhoused.

In a profile, Matt Tinoco examines the failed system that left them behind. In large part, Matt writes, the problem is that the city doesn’t have enough inexpensive housing:

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“The amount of low-income housing actually available is far eclipsed by the number of people who need help [resulting in] a homeless services system that staffs thousands to get people who are already homeless ‘ready’ to move into housing, but struggles to rehouse them before more people end up on the street.”

This is just one of the reasons that the current pay-to-play scandal at City Hall is so atrocious. As people like Hal waited for apartments they can afford, some City Council members allegedly took bribes to ensure that such units were never created.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

Jessica P. Ogilvie


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Coming Up Today, October 2

In a series of recollections, Judy Jean Kwon reflects on what she lost when her family brought her to the U.S. from Korea -- and what it’s taken to reclaim at least part of her past.

Sharon McNary reports on upcoming road closures in Long Beach, as workers connect ramps of the 710 Freeway to the area’s shiny new bridge. Meanwhile, LAist contributor Melissa Chadburn has the story of how Angeles Crest Creamery founder Gloria Putnam is regrouping after her ice cream shop was scorched by the Bobcat Fire.

LAUSD has spent more than $210 million in emergency funds to deal with the coronavirus. Kyle Stokes breaks down the spending and examines the potential long term effects of Superintendent. Austin Beutner’s extraordinary authority.

Dana Amihere reports on how special education funding that’s determined through the census is needed to fill opportunity gaps for students from low-income homes, and Caroline Champlin examines the potential consequences for L.A. and California of the Trump administration’s effort to remove undocumented immigrants from the final census tally.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

L.A. Communities: Will the shooting of two sheriff's deputies provide an opportunity to start mending ruptured relations between law enforcement and some communities they serve, or exacerbate the tension? L.A.’s piecemeal homeless system often leaves those in great need to fend for themselves.

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Bills, Bills, Bills: Gov. Gavin Newsom had until Sept. 30 to decide whether to sign or reject a raft of bills from the California legislature – here’s how they played out.

Census 2020: Along with political power and representation, billions of dollars in federal funding for Pell grants, special education and school breakfast and lunch programs are at stake for Southern California in the 2020 Census.

Coronavirus in L.A.: SummerBio is the start-up lab company behind LAUSD's plan to regularly test all students and staff for COVID-19, and new information reveals what the district has spent with them so far.

Local Landmarks: The kitschy, slightly rundown, Bavarian-themed Alpine Village complex is L.A. County's latest official landmark.

Here’s What To Do: Celebrate Mortified's new game at a storytelling night, check out Dublab's 21st birthday, ease into the weekend with a Grand Park session, and more at this week’s best online and IRL events.


Photo Of The Day

Wheelchair-bound Halcyon Selfmade is pushed by a man at a recent protest against homeless sweeps in Hollywood.

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(Matt Tinoco/LAist)

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The news cycle moves fast. Some stories don't pan out. Others get added. Consider this today's first draft, and check LAist.com for updates on these stories and more. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

This post has been updated to reflect changes in what's coming up for today.


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