My Plan for a Safer L.A.
If we’re going to make our city as safe and our economy as strong as it can be, we need an “all of the above” approach to ending homelessness.
My plan for a safer Los Angeles is not complicated but it will require leaders who are willing to be bold and innovative and willing to do everything we can to make our city the place I know it can be.
Prevent more Angelenos from falling into homeless. If you find yourself in a hole - stop digging. We will never solve homelessness if we only focus on rehousing those on the street. Last year, for every 133 persons housed, 150 fell into homelessness. We have to break the cycle of poverty, get addiction treatment and mental health services to our veterans and others who need it, provide job training, child care, targeted rental assistance for those about to lose their housing, and whatever else we need to to help our fellow Angelenos keep a roof over their head.
BUILD more housing, faster. Street encampments are unsafe, unhealthy, and quite simply - inhumane. We must immediately, build a sufficient amount of low-barrier emergency, temporary housing for anyone who would otherwise face a night sleeping on concrete. But we can’t stop there - we need a variety of housing options that are affordable to everyone: Working People. Seniors. Students. Families. Increase home ownership opportunities. Less red tape for the folks who are actually making this housing available.
CONNECT those experiencing homelesness with temporary housing. We should eliminate the Los Angeles Homelessness Services Authority and use their $330 million dollar budget for services outside of their bureaucracy that more directly and effectively address homelessness. We must build a nimble and responsive homeless rehousing system, with “no wrong door.” Any person who asks for help - whether from an outreach worker, a librarian, or a police officer - will be offered temporary housing and a way to get there. No more surveys, no more waiting lists, and no more LAHSA. Our current system was adequate 50 years ago when it was first formed. Today there are far better ways to deploy the $330 million dollars we invest annually in the bloated LAHSA bureaucracy. We must share data and use mobile field technology to better coordinate the efforts of all government and non-profit workers who interact with the homeless: outreach workers, paramedics, police officers, probation officers, social workers, ER doctors and nurses, Sanitation workers, so that all levels of government are working as one, coordinated team. We must establish a Senior Outreach Worker program, where one person is responsible and accountable for all outreach that occurs in a neighborhood, similar to LAPD’s Senior Lead Officer program. Senior Outreach Workers will be evaluated - and compensated - based on how many people they get off the streets and into housing.
ENFORCE Ban encampments in parks and on sidewalks. For those who refuse to go into shelters or permanent housing, we must engage every measure available in order to get them off the streets. If that means using the assistance of law enforcement, I support it.
Homelessness makes our city less safe for everyone - for our fellow Angelenos who are experiencing homelessness, for families who just want to be able to use the park in their neighborhood and for small businesses and the people who use them.
Homelessness is an emergency in the city of LA and we have to treat it with that level of urgency. We have to aim at eradicating homelessness, not simple half-measures that will not get the job done.