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Homeless Encampments In Los Angeles Resemble Third World Country

After the release of a disturbing video showcasing a homeless encampment in Downtown Los Angeles, some have compared the area to a “third world” location.

The footage, shared by Fox News reporter Bill Melugin, depicts homeless individuals gathered on filthy sidewalks near open fires in the streets, with trash strewn about.

The location is at San Pedro Street and 6th Street intersection in LA’s Skid Row neighborhood, close to the Midnight Mission facility designed to support the homeless.

Billionaire Elon Musk, who has been vocal about California’s homelessness crisis, responded with a simple “wow” after watching the video.

Commenters on X expressed astonishment, with one stating, “Gavin Newsom’s California may be the wealthiest state, but its cities resemble those of Third World nations.” At the same time, another remarked, “If you didn’t tell us this was LA, we would think this was a city in a third-world country!”

The number of homeless individuals in LA has surpassed 46,000, showing a 10 percent increase from the previous year according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

The city has experienced a significant rise in homelessness since the start of the pandemic, with over 10,000 more people now living on the streets compared to 2019. Since 2015, homelessness in LA has surged by 70 percent.

The Midnight Mission, located just a few meters from the distressing scene captured in the online video, is under significant pressure due to limited resources.

The Mission offers three daily meals, temporary housing, a barbershop, and a women’s crisis center. Despite their dedicated efforts, female homelessness in LA has increased by 55% in three years, with over 90% of these women reporting incidents of physical or sexual violence.

To combat the opioid crisis in Skid Row, the city has deployed mobile teams with oxygen cylinders to prevent overdoses.

Additionally, staff from the non-profit organization Homeless Health Care Los Angeles are out on the streets, tending to individuals living in makeshift shelters and witnessing alarming health conditions including substance abuse.

Los Angeles County has dedicated $609.7 million in its 2023-2024 budget to address homelessness, marking a $61.8 million increase from the previous year. Despite these efforts, Governor Gavin Newsom has acknowledged the state’s homeless crisis as a “disgrace” and has committed to providing additional resources.

During his time in office, homelessness in California has risen by 13 percent, leading Newsom to recognize the challenges posed by high housing costs, regulatory obstacles, and local resistance to new housing construction.

Upon being elected mayor of Los Angeles, Karen Bass boldly declared her intention to eradicate homelessness, setting a defining goal for her tenure.

The Democratic congresswoman, who was previously considered as a vice presidential candidate by Joe Biden, envisioned a transformed city where over 40,000 homeless individuals would be housed and provided with essential services to rebuild their lives. “We are going to create a new Los Angeles,” she asserted.

After one year in office, Mayor Bass announced that over 21,000 unhoused individuals had been relocated to leased hotels or temporary shelters in 2023, a 28 percent rise from the previous year.

Despite the dismantling of drug-infested street encampments and the launch of housing initiatives, there is a stark reality beneath these positive figures: this is just the start.

Significant investments and new programs have been deployed to combat homelessness, but the mayor recognizes the potential for further increases due to evictions and the end of COVID-19 aid for low-income households.

While progress has been made under Bass’s leadership, addressing LA’s homelessness crisis remains a daunting task. The city struggles to manage a potentially growing homeless population, equivalent in size to Palm Springs, without an effective system to track individuals within it.

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Joe Messina

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