los angeles is a city with a booming economy but the presence of the Homeless is a dark spot. Funds are there to contain this trend but many factors could be contributing to this situation. Some of these could be rising rents, or a critical shortage of affordable houses, or reluctance to shift to new shelters etcetera. There are also issues related to individuals who have mental health problems, are addicts, or belong to the strata of society that are forced to live on the streets because they have no other alternative.

The latest count showed an increase in the homeless category in both Los Angeles County and the city limits of LA in varying degrees.

CNN reports about the situation as perceived by a senior official of Los Angeles County. In his opinion, "It is the height of contradiction that in the midst of great prosperity across the Golden State, we are also seeing unprecedented increases in homelessness." He agrees that realities cannot be ignored and points out to factors like income insecurity.

Problems associated with the homeless

Skid Row is an area in Los Angeles where the homeless are usually concentrated.

However, the encampments have spread to neighboring areas adding to the problems. It is akin to encroachment and it has raised concerns of public health and safety. A massive fire in 2017 was the result of a cooking fire at a homeless encampment nearby and it destroyed homes in Bel-Air and the hillsides along the 405 freeway. Other ill effects of homelessness are illegal activities connected to trafficking in humans and drugs. Moreover, trash from abandoned encampments is an eyesore as are used needles that litter the streets.

Regular cleaning of unwanted trash is a continuous affair.

CNN goes on to add that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti had drawn up plans to tackle the issue of the homeless in the city. In March 2018, he wanted to pursue a project aimed at improving the lot of 45,000 homeless people.

He wanted the city to welcome more shelters and affordable housing in their neighborhoods. However, things are not progressing as he would have liked them to.

Why the increase in population of the homeless?

According to the Los Angeles Times, the increase in the population of the homeless in the city could be because of nearby cities forcing their liabilities on to Los Angeles. A couple of City Council members want to examine legal strategies that will ensure nearby cities extend shelter beds to such people or allow them to sleep on their sidewalks instead of forcing them into the boundaries of L.A.

city. In the opinion of the Councilmen, those cities must comply with a federal court decision on homelessness and sidewalk camping. The Court had said homeless individuals might not be held criminally responsible for sleeping on government property when no alternative shelter is available.

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