U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein joined Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas on a tour of Skid Row, epicenter of the crisis of homelessness gripping Los Angeles County and the rest of California.
“Homelessness is the defining civic issue in the County of Los Angeles and the State of California,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said. “It is also a civil rights issue and a human rights issue.”
“Mere steps away from dozens of cranes looming above the gleaming towers of downtown LA, we find human beings living in utter squalor, subjected to unspeakable living situations,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “This uneasy juxtaposition is visible in every corner of the County. Instead of averting our eyes from this crisis, we must act now to address it and overcome it.”
Senator Feinstein said, “Mark and I saw firsthand the depth and breadth of the Los Angeles homeless crisis. I will do everything I can to help — particularly in the area of women with children.”
First, the Senator and Supervisor visited the headquarters of the County’s Housing for Health program, which provides permanent supportive housing, recuperative care and specialized primary care to homeless people with complex physical and behavioral health conditions.
Afterwards, they proceeded to the C3 Hub – a collaboration among the County, City and Community – where nurses, substance use counselors, mental health clinicians, outreach workers and formerly homeless people assemble into teams, then take to the streets to help the unsheltered on Skid Row find housing.
Finally, they visited the Downtown Women’s Center, where they were joined by Mayor Eric Garcetti and First Lady Amy Wakeland.
During a tour of the facility, they listened to stories of how its formerly homeless tenants were able to turn their lives around once provided with permanent supportive housing, mental health treatments and other services that helped them land a job.
An estimated 115,000 people are homeless throughout California — enough to fill every seat at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Staples Center, combined. They account for more than 20 percent of the homeless population in the U.S.
Los Angeles County has 47,000 homeless people, 2,000 of whom live in Skid Row, which spans less a square mile in downtown LA, east of Main Street, south of Third Street, west of Alameda Street and north of Seventh Street.