Dem Mayor BEGS Wealthy To Join Fight Against Homelessness

By Jennifer Wentworth | Thursday, 18 April 2024 09:20 PM
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Image Credit : Seattle Times Staff Photographer

In her recent State of the City address, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass called upon the city's affluent residents to contribute to a new initiative, LA4LA, aimed at providing housing for the city's over 40,000 homeless individuals.

Mayor Bass, a Democrat, emphasized the need for the private sector to demonstrate "humanity and generosity" in tandem with the public sector's ongoing efforts to resolve the homelessness crisis.

"Angelenos have been let down by short-term solutions and the constant displacement of our homeless population," Bass stated. "Our citizens deserve genuine solutions, which necessitates a fundamental shift in LA's approach to homelessness. This involves a commitment to the objective of preventing and eradicating homelessness — not merely managing it, but putting an end to it."

The mayor highlighted the city's shift away from temporary accommodation solutions, such as nightly room rentals, towards more sustainable options. These include "master leasing and purchasing motels and hotels," and constructing permanent housing facilities.

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"We are now calling on the most privileged Angelenos to contribute to this endeavor through personal, private sector, and philanthropic funds," Bass continued. She appealed to the city's wealthier residents by highlighting the broader societal costs of homelessness, including the strain on emergency services, the impact on local businesses, and the potential deterrent to tourism and downtown office occupancy.

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"I simply cannot accept this, and our city cannot afford to," Bass declared. "That's why we're disrupting, challenging, and rebuilding the system."

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In addition to the LA4LA campaign, Bass announced the establishment of a new government role, the Deputy Mayor for Homelessness and Community Health. Dr. Etsemaye Agonafer was named as the inaugural appointee. Despite billions of dollars already invested in addressing the city's homelessness crisis, which Bass described as "nothing less than a disaster," as reported by Fox News, there is still a significant amount of work to be done.

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