Doubling Down in the Fight Against Homelessness

 

Statement by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas on the 2020 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count

 “Today, it was announced that homelessness in Los Angeles has increased.  Given the state of the economy and circumstances that compound systemic inequalities, none of us are really surprised.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas speaks with a man just outside his tent during the 2020 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count as Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Executive Director Heidi Marston looks on. Photo by Aurelia Ventura/Board of Supervisors

“Yet, we thank the voters for the passage of Measure H.  This last year, we were able to house more than 22,000 people. But for every 207 people we housed, 227 new people became homeless every day.  Our challenge is unique in LA County.  In any other region, these numbers would have ended homelessness.  But with COVID-19, rising unemployment, and a depressed economy, things will likely get worse before they get better.

“Our mission is to double down and to slow the inflow of people becoming homeless.  This means fortifying our safety net in the areas of housing, healthcare and education, where failure has pushed many people into crushing poverty and onto our streets.  This means providing good employment opportunities, stronger tenant protections, and doing more in the way of mental health and substance use services.

“Homelessness is the moral crisis of our time.  While we are not anywhere we wish to be, we are certainly not where we once were.

“We will not rest until we bring Everyone In.”