Report: L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti Reaches Out to Trump for Help with Homeless

Homeless L.A., Eric Garcetti Getty
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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti reportedly reached out this week to the Trump administration to ask for federal assistance in dealing with the city’s homeless population, which has been growing rapidly and posing a severe public health hazard.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Garcetti sent a letter to Secretary of Housing and Urban Development on Thursday in which he asked the federal government for money and land to help move homeless people off the street. “I write to request federal assistance that would aid Los Angeles with the urgent work that our City is doing to move our unhoused neighbors into shelter, build permanent housing, and supply the services they need to stay housed for good,” Garcetti wrote.

For months, President Donald Trump has been scolding California officials over their neglect of the problem. Los Angeles alone saw its homeless population rise to nearly 60,000 people last year, and experts worried openly about the outbreak of diseases like bubonic plague. A recent study by HUD revealed that California’s 16.4% rise in homelessness was “entirely” responsible for the nationwide rise of 2.7%.

While California officials, including Garcetti and Governor Gavin Newsom, pleaded for more money, experts said that the challenges included mental illness and drug addiction, which money alone would not solve.

Last fall, reports emerged that the president was considering invoking emergency powers to move homeless people in Los Angeles to federally-owned property, where they could receive medical attention, while the city itself could be cleaned.

On Monday, President Trump tweeted another criticism of California — but added an opening, inviting requests for help:

The Times reported that the mayor and the HUD secretary spoke prior to the formal sending of the letter asking for help: “Garcetti spoke by phone with Carson on Wednesday, and the discussion included negotiations about federal funds and land, aides said. Officials would not say how much money is on the table or how close they are to an agreement.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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