The following is an installment in a weekly series of commentary articles by Cameron Arcand, founder of the conservative commentary website Young Not Stupid and a contributor to The Western Journal.
California’s crippling homeless crisis is nothing new, with a large concentration of the issue manifesting itself within the city of Los Angeles.
Feasible long-term solutions have been scarce, and the latest stunt from L.A. is another bolstering example of poor leadership within the region.
A report from the city administrative officer Richard Llewellyn, analyzed by National Public Radio, discovered that the true cost of a government-approved homeless encampment in East Hollywood costs over $2,600 per tent each month.
The reasoning behind the high price tag for the pilot program is that the price includes the basic essentials that the residents may need such as food and healthcare.
Although the plan is admittedly temporary, Los Angeles taxpayers are paying for an authorized shantytown.
Los Angeles has opened its first government-run homeless encampment, on a parking lot by the 101 freeway in East Hollywood. This comes weeks after officials shut down what was one of the city’s largest encampments at Echo Park Lake, 2 miles away. (Thread) pic.twitter.com/0By3UqV4XW
— Anna Scott (@AnnaScottJourno) April 26, 2021
While encampments like these, which are confined to one area, could be a small step forward to getting people off the streets, it seems borderline satirical that this is the best the city can come up with at the moment.
“If you can paint lines on a sidewalk for the same cost that you can give someone the rent for an apartment,” Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles attorney Shayla Myers told NPR.
“I’m concerned that our city is making the choice to paint the lines rather than actually get people into housing,” she continued.
The spending red flag came prior to the news that Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti was chosen by the Biden administration to serve as the United States Ambassador to India.
If the mayor decides to leave his position, he would not only be going back on his word that he would not depart from his job, but he would additionally be abandoning Los Angeles during one of its most vulnerable hours.
At the state level, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recall fears have brought him into overdrive (which is code for actually doing his job) by announcing a $12 billion plan to reduce homelessness.
San Francisco, Los Angeles and other California cities spend significantly more on homelessness and have significantly worse outcomes pic.twitter.com/vlEbEs22FP
— Michael Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) May 27, 2021
Throwing money at the issue may not work if it is not conducted responsibility, and would not have been necessary if this situation was handled earlier.
What do you think of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti potentially becoming the Ambassador to India, per @axios?@Johnnydontlike: “I think its a grand idea…my one request would be he take Gavin Newsom along with him.”@GoldsmithB says there’d be ?’s about leaving L.A. during a crisis. pic.twitter.com/ZHdOJvun4t
— Elex Michaelson (@Elex_Michaelson) May 5, 2021
Unless Democratic leaders decide to mitigate California’s unsustainable cost of living by scrapping the high taxes and stop slacking off on illicit drug use law enforcement, people will continue to find themselves on the streets.
It is tough to see hope for Los Angeles and the state’s homeless population when those at the helm have little regard for anything besides their political ambitions.
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