Sat, Sep 26, 2015 - Page 9 News List

Rising tide of homeless in Los Angeles causes public emergency

By Jennifer Medina  /  NY Times News Service, Los angeles

In Honolulu, where the city spent two days shutting down homeless encampments that have irritated residents and frightened tourists, a federal judge on Tuesday denied the American Civil Liberties Union’s request to stop seizing and destroying people’s property during the sweeps.

Garcetti proposed using US$12.6 million this year from unexpected tax revenue for rental subsidies for short-term housing and other services, including US$1 million to create centers where the homeless could store belongings and shower. The US$100 million, if approved, would be for next year’s budget.

Some advocates for the homeless in Los Angeles have said that the rising street population has created a public health crisis on Skid Row downtown, where about 5,000 people now live outdoors.

“It’s a humanitarian crisis and a moral shame,” said Jose Huizar, a council member who represents the area. “It has reached a critical breaking point, that the sea of despair that we witness on the streets of Los Angeles each and every day must end, and it begins with all of us here today.”

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