Editorial: Surprise! Trump wants to help L.A.'s homeless by cracking down on them
Everyone in Los Angeles County knows how pervasive and intractable a problem homelessness is. Even as we increase the number of shelter beds and build permanent supportive housing and dispense rental subsidies and provide all manner of other services, it’s not enough to stanch the flow of newly homeless people onto the sidewalks.
So the arrival this week of a group of officials from the Trump administration saying they want to learn about homelessness ought to be a hopeful sign. It should be a good thing that the federal government, with all its experts and money and other resources, is interested and wants to help.
If President Trump wants to come in as a partner to work on serious solutions with local officials who have spent years studying and fighting this terribly complex social problem, that would be great. In fact, Mayor Eric Garcetti has been to Washington numerous times asking for federal resources. If the federal government wants to stop its disinvestment in affordable housing or throw its support behind Rep. Maxine Waters’ bill to appropriate $13.27 billion in mandatory emergency funding over five years to federal housing programs, that would be helpful. In 2018, California had more than 129,000 homeless people. Today there are nearly 59,000 homeless people in Los Angeles County alone.
But, sadly, help is not what we’ve come to expect from the Trump administration. The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the president wants to conduct a sweeping “crackdown” on California’s homeless, razing encampments and ...
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