The sixth in a series of L.A. Times EDITORIALS on the homeless crisis is, like the first, spot on and highlights why LACW Kaleb Havens struggles on day 17 of his hunger strike. Bottom line, City and County officials simply do nor care enough to do anything significant to end the crisis. Everyone wants to pass the buck and duck responsibility while more than 58,000 human beings are forced to live on the streets in utter squalor with LAPD (along with other police and sheriff departments) providing 24/7 harassment to make a miserable situation intolerable.
We MUST constantly remind ourselves about Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:31-46: What we do or fail to do to the least among us, we do or fail to do to Christ Jesus. This is the ONLY criteria listed in the gospels on how individuals and societies will be judged.
An excerpt: “Two years after Los Angeles city leaders said they were about to declare (although they never actually did) a state of emergency over a deepening homelessness crisis; 18 months after county supervisors called on the state to declare such an emergency (it didn’t); More than a year after voters overwhelmingly agreed to pay $1.2 billion to house people now living on the street; Eight months after L.A. County voters raised their sales taxes by a quarter-cent on the dollar to pay for mental health care and other support services for the homeless; And now, deep into another winter in which tens of thousands of people huddled in flimsy tents or with no shelter at all face violent Santa Ana winds, chilling nights and seasonal downpours — Where are we?
How many people have we housed, or at least, how many are we on track toward housing? Is Los Angeles setting the national standard for rapid and effective response to a vexing problem? Or are its leaders merely mastering the art of appearances while passing the buck and hoping things turn around?
Who knows? L.A. homelessness stats are spread among obscure reports from city, county and federal agencies.
And you’ll learn nothing by attending a meeting of the body charged with ending homelessness or hearing the report from the homelessness czar — the point person reporting directly to both the city’s mayor and the county Board of Supervisors. That’s because there is no committee and no czar with sole responsibility for ending homelessness. Or rather, there are many committees and many sub-commanders, which is almost the same as there being none at all.”