Critics claim that local leaders are trying hide the crisis facing people who live on the streets.
LOS ANGELES — Dawn Taki, one of the tens and thousands of people living on the streets in Los Angeles, is one of them.
Her two-year-old encampment beneath the 405 Freeway was cleared by authorities in advance of Sunday’s Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium.
She said, “They just came in and cleaned us out, took all our stuff.” “I know they did it because of the Super Bowl. They just pushed us aside because we were homeless. It’s not right.
As Los Angeles prepares for the matchup between L.A. Rams & the Cincinnati Bengals, the cleanup was just one of many. Housing advocates claim that local leaders hide the fact that there is a problem with homelessness, while they do little to ease it.
According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, the last count, which took place at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in 1999, saw 66,000 homeless persons in L.A. County. The new count, which will begin in this month, is expected to produce a significantly higher number.
Madeline Devillers is a volunteer who works to increase resources for the homeless.
She said, “There are so many homeless people living on streets.” “It seems like an insurmountable problem, because there are so many people.”
State and local officials are working together to allocate billions in federal, state, and local funding to build or arrange housing for the homeless. The state has made 6,000 housing units in the first phase of the Homekey project and plans to make another 55,000 available over the next few decades.
However, the last report from the program indicates that less then 2,000 units were made available in Los Angeles County. It is also preparing to host the 2028 Olympics as the region battles with increasing homelessness.
Los Angeles recently voted to ban street camping in over 200 locations. Meanwhile, across the county, encampments such as the one Taki lived in are being cleared. It was located less than two miles from SoFi Stadium. However, another encampment was not visible from passersby.
Taki claimed that the people who cleared them didn’t offer any help to her and the other residents living below the freeway when they were told to move.
She said, “They didn’t offer us any vouchers.” “No nothing.”
Caltrans, the state transportation agency, conducted the removal. It said that it was working with local agencies to provide support and outreach for those who had been dislocated.
Caltrans stated that the encampment had to be removed due to “a fire safety concern…
Inglewood’s mayor insisted that the Super Bowl cleanups were unrelated to it.
Mayor James Butts stated that “this is something that happens year in and year out.” “So this one, this was just time for it.”
Jass Singh runs a small business right next to the freeway and said that while he was glad that the camp was cleared, he doesn’t believe it will make a difference in the long-term.
He said that Super Bowl visitors are coming from far away because they do. It’s going to be busy. Look nice. That’s why.”
Local residents know that the problem exists. Recent surveys by a group of civic leaders revealed that local residents are frustrated at the inaction of leaders.
Devillers stated that while we are focusing on building high-profitable housing, what is really needed is low-income housing.