Commentary

Judge Calls Out 'Shameful Reality' in LA, Sets an October Deadline to Deal with Entire Homeless Population

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Liberal lawmakers aren’t serious about curbing the homelessness epidemic ravaging Los Angeles, based on their move to challenge a California federal judge who ordered them to provide shelter to every homeless person there by Oct. 18.

Last week, Judge David O. Carter — an appointee of former President Bill Clinton — ordered LA to set aside $1 billion in escrow to provide some sort of housing or shelter to the 66,436 homeless people living on the streets.

On Friday, attorneys for the county joined the city in filing a motion to suspend the order, arguing that it was overly broad and violated “the separation of powers within government,” KFI-AM reported.

Skip Miller, the county’s outside counsel, also claimed that Carter’s calls for immediate action to get homeless people off the streets would derail the LA’s plans to provide permanent housing for them.

“It upends long-term plans for permanent housing in favor of a temporary fix that would create a revolving door, not a way out, for persons trapped in homelessness,” Miller said. “For these reasons, we’re seeking a stay of the order and are pursuing an appeal.”

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Apparently, LA officials did not carefully read Carter’s scathing 110-page order on Tuesday in which he blasted them for failing to address the homelessness apocalypse that has metastasized across Los Angeles.

Specifically, the judge blamed decades of corruption in the Democrat-run governments for their abysmal failure to manage the homelessness emergency.

He also ordered an audit of all public money that officials claimed they had spent in recent years to combat the crisis.

“Elected officials at both the state and local level have long been aware of L.A.’s urgent homelessness crisis,” the judge wrote.

Will LA's homelessness epidemic be addressed by October?

“Recent investigations into City-funded housing projects for the homeless demonstrate that a lack of government oversight has allowed the proliferation of corruption.”

He added: “These cases, of which there are almost certainly more to be discovered, indicate that the city has turned a blind eye to corruption as money is being siphoned off from funds that taxpayers voted to allocate to the homeless population. The improper relationship between City Hall and real estate developers is neither isolated nor new.”

Carter explained that he had called for immediate action because California politicians have repeatedly paid lip service to helping the homeless while doing nothing concrete to manage the debacle.

“For decades in Los Angeles, the desperation of its citizens has been met with a yawn,” the judge observed.

“Each day, newspaper headlines bring forth different cities and communities calling for action.”

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Carter pointed out that politicians shamelessly invoke the homelessness crisis to fundraise, but the money is mismanaged and suspiciously diverted elsewhere.

“Meanwhile, politicians measure success by how much money they have raised to combat homelessness,” he wrote.

“Service providers with clipboards endlessly approach homeless individuals with services and promises to return, yet are unable to provide sufficient shelter or housing. Bureaucrats create statistics trumpeting their efficiency and success to the public. But none of this has led to accountability or solutions.”

Carter said Los Angeles has morphed into a squalid, crime-infested hellhole where homeless people are neglected and city residents are unable to enjoy the parks and other public squares that their tax dollars pay for.

“There can be no defense to the indefensible,” the judge said. “Los Angeles has lost its parks, beaches, schools, sidewalks, and highway systems due to the inaction of City and County officials who have left our homeless citizens with no other place to turn.

“All of the rhetoric, promises, plans, and budgeting cannot obscure the shameful reality of this crisis — that year after year, there are more homeless Angelenos, and year after year, more homeless Angelenos die on the streets.”

Carter’s order stems from a March 2020 lawsuit filed against the city and county by the LA Alliance for Human Rights, a group of residents, small business owners and community leaders who are disgusted with the city’s failure to fix the homelessness crisis.

To underscore that lawmakers don’t really care about the homeless but definitely care about the city’s image, scores of homeless people were ordered to leave a camp at Union Square (located next to this year’s Academy Awards venue) because their tents would ruin the glitzy event.

“They came to us about a week ago saying that we had to move by Friday 6 p.m. because they were trying to clean up for the Oscars,” a homeless man told KTTV-TV.

“They told us if we didn’t move, they were gonna just demolish our stuff and [that] if you have warrants, we’re gonna take you to jail,” he said.

The homeless man added: “They were coming and harassing us three or four times a day. … They kicked everybody out of Union Station so it looks better for the image.”

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Samantha Chang is a politics writer, lawyer and financial editor based in New York City.
Samantha Chang is a politics writer and financial editor based in New York City.




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