The homeless people on the streets of Venice have soared over the last year. It is disturbing on so many levels. Los Angeles, including other areas of California, have a massive housing crisis. On one hand, there are people moving into areas that have been gentrified over the past decade and then on the other hand these areas are packed with tents and mobile homes filled with people without roofs above their head.
This isn’t good for anyone. This past week I opened up the garage to a homeless man standing there with a filled shopped cart of his wares. I was alone and I told him he had to move so I could pull out. He nodded and basically set up shop next door because when I returned he had his things sitting there. What if he was out of his mind and struck at me?
In the evening we walked down Abbott Kinney for dinner. We were waiting for a table so we walked the entire strip back and forth. In NYC, you mostly seem singular homeless people but for some reason in LA there are more groups. Walking by a group of four homeless people sitting on the street as you walk by looking at you is uncomfortable. There were several groups along the strip.
I don’t know if it is just pure lack of housing, lack of Federal funding, rising rents or less social programs but the long-tail of this is housing prices begin to come down, stores start to close, and eventually something bad happens. Many ideas have been thrown out there that could be debated that they are against the civil rights of the people on the street but how about the people who are living in the homes, paying their rent, putting money into the economy and want to feel safe?
There has to be a better way? It as if the local city Government has lost the plot. You can’t grow economies without taking care of the people who get left behind. In the end, we all get left behind.