The below story snip and image are from a “U.S.A. Today” post. It presents a story about the current ongoing homeless and health crisis situation in Los Angeles, California. That situation is dirty, diseased, rodent infested, crowded and crime-ridden street life…if you can call it “life!”
Chris Woodyard, USA TODAYPublished 8:35 a.m. ET June 18, 2019 | Updated 12:01 p.m. ET June 18, 2019
Public health danger
A homeless man adjusts his tent on a street in downtown Los Angeles (Photo: Jeff Lewis, AP)
A Hepatitis A outbreak occurred late last year in Los Angeles. The contagious illness can cause vomiting, nausea, and jaundice. It has shown up on the West Coast and around the nation, including Kentucky, Utah, and New Mexico, traced to the homeless and drug use.
There is a story here.
Los Angeles and California as a whole have long been touted as an example of the best things about America, the best things about the Democratic way of life, the best things about freedoms, the best things about living in a beautiful country, state, and city. Where else can you go surfing in the morning, at many great beach locations across the city, county, and the state. Where else, again, in the same day, the afternoon, head up to the mountains and go snow skiing after a relatively short drive…yes, I have done it in years past (ok, many years past!). And where else could you, later that same afternoon/evening go gambling in the casinos near Palm Springs, all in the same day (didn’t do that, but I could have)
And yet, you read the associated story and the many others that are in the news lately, and you find yourself wondering, what the hell is going on here. I wonder it!
Take a look at these headlines…
Ahead of the first presidential debates, the nationwide squeeze on affordable housing has barely registered on the campaign trail.The Atlantic4 hours agobookmark_bordersharemore_vert
Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell called on the state Wednesday to direct $1.2 billion toward the city’s battle against homelessness, matching the …NBC Southern California4 hours agoLocal coveragebookmark_bordersharemore_vertView full coveragekeyboard_arrow_up
Los Angeles’ homeless population has jumped 16% from 2018
Surrounding counties boast even higher increases.
DEREK BERES11 June, 2019
Los Angeles homeless population hits 36,000 in (a) dramatic rise
More than 59,000 people are homeless across (the) county as housing crisis plagues California
There is more, I won’t go further, please check for yourself. What you see today in Los Angeles, and outlying communities are homeless people in the residential neighborhoods, the commercial districts, the beaches, the parks, the malls and in and around our children’s schools. They occupy intersection corners and beg at the lights. They hang around outside the supermarkets and in the gas stations waiting to prey upon people coming and going.
Many are likely mentally ill or suffering from the effects of a life of drug use. Unfortunately many are Veterans, you see their hand written signs and their hats and jackets advertising this. Many are hostile, but not all. Many commit crimes, but not all. Many actually want out of the street life, but again, not all.
Do they need help? Well, yeah, they do! Do they all want help? From personal experience, many do not, and become hostile when you ask them if they want a job or help finding support services. Virtually all are welcoming, often demanding a handout. There are those that will occupy select locations, like a construction site or service story (think Home Depot or Lowes) seeking any kind of job you might offer. They may or may not have skills, but they want and are willing to work.
But that is not the problem.
The problem is the lack of decisive and cohesive response from the political leaders. Plenty of promises, lots of make-believe and sincere sounding language, but no follow-up, no action. The Governor and the Mayor speak of seeking solutions, making promises that sound all too familiar from earlier times. But again, no action.
The police departments have been rendered useless in supporting the safety and security of our communities by dealing with the homeless. In many cases we find that police are prohibited from taking enforcement actions to move or relocate the homeless. In many cases there are no available services for the police to access in support of cleaning up the streets.
And here is a question for you…why must this be a police problem. Since being homeless is not in-an-of itself, a crime, what are police to do? They should be able to act on related circumstances, like being overnight in a public park…but the rules have changed on overnight park access. They should be able to take the homeless person to a relocation, medical and housing service center…if they can find one! And if relocation is allowed, and it most often is not.
The end result of this debacle is now a medical crisis for the homeless, and a public health crisis for the city. Rodent infestation and the related impact that this has on the business community and the nearby residential areas is only getting worse.
So there is my view on it. But hey, this is California. We are big. And we have beauty and we have ugly. We have problems beyond the beautiful beaches, mountains, and fields of green grass and trees. But that will be a post for another day…local and national politics anyone?!