The one thing Los Angeles does well when it comes to helping the homeless is spend excessive amounts of money… that result in very little improvement for the homeless.
I recently learned that Los Angeles has started running a homeless encampment in a parking lot off the 101 freeway. About the only differences between the one the city runs and the ones that spring up on their own is that this one costs taxpayers nearly $2700 per month for each tent pitched in the parking lot! As expensive as rent is in Los Angeles, somehow LA has managed to make it cost more to live in a tent than to rent a one bedroom apartment!
What does the money buy? A fence around the parking lot. White squares painted on the asphalt marking the space for each tent. A row of porta potties and portable hand washing stations and I hear they have showers. They have security at the entrance and the “residents” do get 3 meals a day. I haven’t seen much in terms of what help they may get in terms of helping them re-enter society as gainfully employed people. But I will say that being able to sleep at night without wondering who or what might crawl into your tent and to be able to clean yourself up are a start.
If you do the math on it, housing all of LA’s homeless (which a judge has recently ordered the city to do ASAP) will cost taxpayers about $178 million dollars per month to put them in inhumane encampments like this. A similar one in San Francisco is even more expensive, running about $5000 per tent per month in the encampment.
These are said to be temporary until more permanent housing can be arranged but efforts to build affordable housing for the homeless (or even affordable housing for those of us who have not been pushed out onto the streets yet) have made LA the embarrassment of the nation. Even what should be relatively simple projects like converting old hotels into housing have been taking up to six years to complete and have frequently been done at price tags of nearly $700,000 per unit! Even in LA you can get a luxury condo for that, not a repainted tiny room in an old hotel.
Check out our video to see what $2700 a month puts some lucky homeless person into. We think you’ll be shocked. If you want to drive by and look at LA’s own government run homeless encampment you’ll find it just beside the 101 Freeway on Madison Ave. That’s just off of the main intersection of Vermont Street and Beverly Blvd.
In closing, I will be bringing you some news of something that the city is doing to help the homeless that actually left me quite impressed in my next report on the situation. I was actually quite pleasantly surprised.