As rampant homelessness continues to plague the streets and neighborhoods of Los Angeles, a new video sheds light on the issue as it impacts LA’s iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The video, taken earlier this summer, shows dozens of homeless people collapsed and prostrated on the streets of Hollywood, laying on public benches, and lining the streets with makeshift tents. ‘Hidden between the glitz and glamor, homelessness has cast a shadow over the streets,’ says the video’s narrator, as he walks around the neighborhood.
He points out that mental health issues are an ongoing challenge within the city’s homeless population – which, left untreated, result in individuals being hurled further into a cycle of homelessness and poverty. ‘Prejudice and misunderstanding often cast a dark cloud over the homeless community,’ continues the narration, ‘the city of dreams grapples with its own realities.’
The homeless crisis in Los Angeles has skyrocketed in the last handful of years, reaching a total of more than 46,000 people living on the streets, an issue that Mayor Karen Bass committed herself to tackling as soon as she took office last year.
The number of homeless people in LA has more than doubled in the past decade.There was a 9 percent rise in homelessness in Los Angeles County between 2022 and 2023, with the unhoused population now totaling 75,518 people, according to the latest data from the LAHSA.
The city of Los Angeles saw an estimated 10 percent rise to a total of 46,260 people.LA Mayor Karen Bass was recently met with hisses and boos at a meeting about housing the homeless in the city as seen in videos posted to social media.
Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky, who represents District 5 on the powerful LA City Council, proposed an interim housing project in LA’s Westside, which elicited a furious reaction from residents attending the meeting.
The proposal is for the project to be set up on an ‘underutilized city-owned parking lot at the intersection of Pico Blvd. and Midvale Ave.’ ‘It will add desperately needed interim beds to the Fifth Council District’s homeless housing supply,’ Yaroslavsky said.
Yaroslavsky said over 70 percent of these individuals and families sleep in tents, parks, cars or on sidewalks because of a lack of temporary and permanent housing.’Anyone who has walked or driven on the Westside can tell you that the increase in the number of people living in tents is alarming,’ said Yaroslavsky.
‘We cannot keep waiting for the problem to solve itself – we need real solutions that we know work, and we need them quickly. ‘While thousands of units of permanent housing are being constructed across the City, no interim units are in the pipeline in Council District 5. We need interim solutions now that we know will work.’
After praising Yaroslavsky, Bass received boos from the audience. An existing facility that houses the homeless in North Hollywood has been widely criticized by local residents after crime rocketed in the area, including a stabbing close by.’I understand that safety is the number one concern, and safety is my concern as well,’ Bass retorted.
‘But this problem is that people are on the street so we have to think how to get them off the street today.’ In June, Bass announced the lofty goal of ending street homelessness in LA by 2026.’My goal would be, really, to end street homelessness,’ she said. ‘There will still be people in shelters and interim housing, but to at least not have people dying on our streets,’ she said in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.
According to the County of Los Angeles Homeless Initiative financial year 2023-2024 budget, four weeks after homelessness was declared a ‘local emergency,’ the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a $609.7 million budget for the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative.
The budget will go toward: reducing encampments to bring unsheltered people indoors, increasing interim and permanent housing placements and ramping up mental health and substance use disorder services for people experiencing homelessness.
The $609.7 million represents an additional $61.8 million more than last year’s allocation of $547.8 million, an increase of 11 percent.The proposed budget will include 30 percent or $182.2 million for interim housing and 44.3 percent or $270.22 million for permanent housing.
The remaining cash will go toward: administration, local jurisdictions, stabilization success, coordination, target prevention to avoid reentry to homelessness and connectivity to allow people to exit sleeping rough.
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW:
@thestreetsofhollywood Streets of Hollywood. #hollywood #hollywoodwalkoffame #homeless #homelesspeople #hollywoodhomeless #streetsofhollywood #touristattraction #tourist #homelesspeoplematter ♬ original sound – HollywoodBlvd
Bass is the 43rd Mayor of Los Angeles, the first woman and second African American elected to the city’s chief executive post. She started her term with a focus on housing people immediately and hoped to increase safety and opportunity in every part of LA.
That same month Bass moved 14,381 people under a roof – including 8,726 through LAHSA intakes, 1,323 via the mayor’s Inside Safe initiative, 1,591 using emergency vouchers, 1,397 using other tenant-based voucher programs and 1,344 people who were housed in new permanent housing units.
Workers from the non-profit Homeless Health Care Los Angeles also carry naloxone, a medicine commonly known as Narcan, that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.