These Viewpoints Will Help You Understand Homelessness in L.A.

L.A.' s Skid RowEXPAND
L.A.' s Skid Row

With the L.A.'s extraordinarily high rent compared with its wages, it's not all that shocking that the city has the largest homeless population in the United States. But there is more to the crisis — and to its proposed solutions — than popular discourse might have you believe.

Here are some alternative viewpoints on L.A.'s homeless population and how to reduce it, as well as a glimpse into one of the best ways that those on Skid Row relieve their stress.

7 Myths About Homelessness in Los Angeles

By nearly every metric, Los Angeles has the worst homelessness crisis of any city in America. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are more people suffering from chronic homelessness in L.A. than anywhere in the country, and their number is growing at a faster clip than those in New York City. In the spirit of demystifying homelessness for the sake of helping to solve it, here are some of the common misconceptions about those living on the streets.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

The Rev. Andy Bales in front of Union Rescue Mission on Skid Row
The Rev. Andy Bales in front of Union Rescue Mission on Skid Row
Danny Liao

Andy Bales Lost His Leg Walking the Streets of Skid Row. He Gained Something In Return

As CEO of the Union Rescue Mission, the largest private homeless shelter in the United States, Andy Bales works up close with those on Skid Row — and believes that, through his work, he came into contact with the flesh-eating bacteria that would lead to the amputation of his leg. But the injury is more than just a symbol of martyrdom. It's allowed him to become closer to the people he helps. And that gives him a unique perspective on how to solve the homeless crisis.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.

Davi Baldazo with his rescue dog, Baby
Davi Baldazo with his rescue dog, Baby
Shane Lopes

Skid Row Pets Offer More Than Just Companionship

Service dogs and other pets are a common sight on Skid Row, among both the homeless and those living at the fringes of homelessness, like David Baldazo. Many of these people suffer from mental illness or addiction. Many of them are isolated and have trouble forming or maintaining a relationship. Owning a dog is a relatively easy way to form such a relationship. Baldazo, who struggles with depression, says some days it's a battle simply to get out of bed. His cocker spaniel-chihuahua mix Baby, who's licensed as a service dog, helps him get up and start his day. "He rescued me more than I rescued him," Baldazo says.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.
See
L.A. Weekly's slideshow of Skid Row residents with their pets here.

Are you willing to pay a little more at the register to help the homeless?
Are you willing to pay a little more at the register to help the homeless?
Ted Soqui/L.A. Weekly

L.A. County Leaders Propose Yet Another Sales Tax Hike — for the Homeless

L.A. County leaders are asking voters to approve yet another sales tax hike at the ballot box. The question is whether residents have sales tax fatigue yet. The office of County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who proposed the idea, says the sales tax increase would raise $355 million a year. "To put this funding in perspective, a one-fourth-cent sales tax would translate into an additional tax of 10 cents on the purchase of a $40 sweater, or $1 on the purchase of a $400 television,” Phil Ansell, director of the County’s Homeless Initiative, said in a statement.

Read the full L.A. Weekly article here.


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