Saturday, July 20, 2019

Executive Summary on the Homeless State of Emergency in Los Angeles

By Alexandra D. Datig, July 20, 2019 

            In the past six years, homelessness in Los Angeles increased by 75%. On June 4th, 2019, The Los Angeles Times reported a 12% increase in homelessness in the County of Los Angeles and a 16% increase in the City of Los Angeles. Countywide, more than 59,000 people are homeless and citywide more than 36,300. These numbers also represent 3,000 homeless veterans. [1] More than 16,000 people are estimated to be living in his or her car. [2]

The death toll for homeless people in Los Angeles shows a spike of 76% in the past five years. The Los Angeles County Coroner reported more than 3,600 homeless people have died between the years 2015 and 2018. According to Kaiser Health News, the numbers of homeless deaths is outpacing the numbers of the homeless population. A rise in substance abuse is also cited as a possible primary reason for these fatalities. [3]

According to Union Rescue Mission CEO, Reverend Andy Bales, a 30-year professional dealing with homeless issues on Skid Row, the leading cause of death for people who are homeless is hypothermia, due to lack of shelter and warmth (Spectrum 1 News, July 3, 2019). [4] According to Kaiser Health News “the average age of death for homeless people was 48 for women and 51 for men.” In comparison, “The life expectancy for women in California in 2016 was 83 and 79 for men — among the best longevity statistics in the nation...” No data on mental illness as a contributing cause of death is widely available.

Officials have also not presented a plan for eliminating the exploding rodent population. Los Angeles is the only major city in the United States that does not have a major identifiable rodent control program. The presence of trash and non-secured food carried by the homeless provides an ample source of nutrition for rats to rapidly produce thousands of off-spring in a short period of time. [5] Eradication and elimination of the rodent population is of utmost urgency, as rodents feed off infectious human waste which can lead to blood borne diseases such as typhus which is spread by fleas. Diseases such as typhoid fever, tuberculosis, hepatitis and concerns about an impending outbreak of bubonic plague have been expressed by professionals in the health field. [6]

Threats to the environment from homelessness impacting Los Angeles water ways have not been evaluated. Stopping raw sewage from being illegally dumped in storm drains by the more than 59,000 homeless people is neither being enforced or strictly prohibited. [7] According to medical experts, biological matter created by human waste, links directly to and increases the risk of serious life-threatening diseases, spreading to at-risk populations and conceivably to the majority of the healthy population. Public health experts have pointed to this situation by itself as being grounds for a declaration of a public health emergency. [8], [9]

In 2017, voters of the City of Los Angeles approved Measure HHH which provided for $1.2 billion in bond funds to construct 10,000 supportive housing units for the homeless. A review of the bond money expenditures, shows not a single unit has been completed as of June 2019. [10] A detailed audit is pending on how the funds have been spent. Preliminary findings by the Los Angeles City Controller shows funds spent went to administrative services and pre-construction costs. Economic impacts on the business community due to homelessness have not been evaluated. [11]

Source links:

1.     The Los Angeles Times: Homelessness jumps 12% in L.A. County and 16% in the city; officials ‘stunned’, June 4, 2019

2.     16,000 people in L.A. now live in cars, vans and RVs. But safe parking remains elusive

3.     Kaiser Health News: The Homeless Are Dying In Record Numbers On The Streets Of L.A., April 4, 2019

4.     Spectrum 1 News: Homeless Advocate: We Need Help From FEMA, Red Cross, July 3, 2019

5.     790 KABC: Reform California Carl DeMaio: California Rat Explosion, More Rats in CA than People, July 18, 2019

6.     Breitbart News: Dr. Drew: Los Angeles Faces Imminent Outbreak of Bubonic Plague, July 19, 2019

7.     L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti Recall Petitioner Alexandra D. Datig Appears On Tucker Carlson Exposing Los Angeles Homeless Crisis, June 19, 2019

8.     Ingraham Angle/Reform California: New Report Reveals California Cities Struggling with Massive Rat Infestations, July 16, 2019

9.     Dr. Drew asks how many must die before officials address California's homeless crisis? July 18, 2019

10.  The Los Angeles Daily News: L.A.’s chief auditor urges transparency over city’s use of Prop. HHH homeless funds, June 12, 2019

11.  NBC 4 Streets of Shame Series: Homelessness Crippling Downtown L.A. Businesses, June 4, 2019

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