Report: Los Angeles Homelessness Crisis Worsens, 16,000 Living in Cars

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 23: A homeless man for over 30 years who lives inside his car repairs a bicycle as his dog Honey and neighbor's dog Niko stand guard September 23, 2015, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, California. Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Council members declared …
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
HANNAH BLEAU

The homelessness epidemic in Los Angeles is worsening, with the number of individuals living in cars rising to 16,000, according to a recent report in the Los Angeles Times.

Roughly two years ago, the city introduced an alternative to homeless shelters: “Safe parking,” otherwise known as an area designated specifically for the homeless. It essentially gives them a “safe” spot to park so they can sleep in their vehicle during the night.

Because the first lot was a such a “success,” they called for more. The expansion will ultimately add an additional 150 safe parking spots, bringing the total to around 300.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

Under the authority’s new model, most lots would require multiple security guards working 12-hour shifts. While existing lots accommodate five to 10 cars, new ones would need to operate with no fewer than 25, and 95% of the spots must be full every night.

Lot operators also would be required offer on-site case management and other services. And all of it must be done for less than $30 per car, per night — and ideally, less than $20, according to the homeless authority’s plan.

“The higher of the two funding levels is relatively similar to what we pay for a shelter bed,” said Heidi Marston, the authority’s chief program officer.

However, many see this as a yet another political Band-Aid, pointing to the city leaders’ failure to address crux of the issue – factors that contribute to homelessness itself.

The “quick fixes” are costing the city more than most realize. While city leaders float “solutions” such as mobile bathroom facilities, they do not come cheap.

According to the LA Times, a single mobile bathroom can cost roughly $300,000 per year in basic operations alone. Factoring other basic hygienic amenities– such as showers– could come with a $57 million annual price tag, the LA Times added.

The hefty price tag remains a point of debate among city leaders.

“How many single-family homes could you build for that much money?” Councilman Paul Krekorian said last month, according to the paper.

This news follows another chilling report, which sheds a light on the severity of the homelessness epidemic in Los Angeles County specifically. It indicates that about 59,000 homeless people are living on the streets in Los Angeles County, a 12 percent increase over the last year alone.

As Breitbart News reported: “The newly released data revealed that nearly three-fourths of the homeless population, which includes 58,936 people, are sleeping in cars, tents, and other make-do shelters.”

Despite the concerning numbers, Democrat candidates have remained virtually silent on California’s crisis. Rather, presidential hopefuls have been largely attempting to “out woke” each other, focusing on trendy issues like climate change, reparations, and LGBT pride.

For example, Beto O’Rourke (D) recently called climate change “the greatest threat we face,” and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) pushed for a study on issuing reparations. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) recently served drinks at a gay bar in Iowa and made a “drag tater” in support of the LGBT advocacy group, Iowa Safe Schools.

No Democrat candidate has offered any solid, potential solutions for the homelessness crisis festering on the West Coast.

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