by Justin Clark
· October 10, 2018 7:14 PM
While other states have seen a decline in their homeless population since 2008 California has seen the exact opposite. In Los Angeles and our valley that population has exploded. We need to do more then just offer services that many homeless do not use, we need to address this problem at its roots.
Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol Abuse: The services we provide to those affected by either mental health or substance abuse should be aimed at reintegrating people into the work place so they can support themselves.
Housing: While we need to help development of housing on ALL levels, there are certain steps we can take when it comes to low income housing to help the homeless. I support low cost projects with quick results such as motel conversion. I also support the need to reform outdated zoning laws and remove hostile environmental zoning laws that do nothing but increase the time it takes projects to get approved.
Protecting Our Communities: The failure of government to act on this issue SHOULD NOT come at the burden of our communities. We have an obligation to keep our neighborhoods clean and clear of homeless encampments that are not only a health hazard, but dangerous for our children. Being homeless does not hold you above the law. The state (and local municipalities) should make it clear that frivolous lawsuits brought forward by groups such as the ACLU will not met with harsh resistance.
Financial Responsibility: Any programs and projects aimed at addressing this problem should be both efficient and cost effective. We have an obligation maximize every penny spent.