Editorial: A fact check on Rick Caruso’s magical thinking about L.A. homelessness
As the world has come to grips with the tragic and massive death toll of last year’s Camp Fire, local news has focused attention on the state of homelessness in Los Angeles.
It’s a topic we’ve been covering on The Desert Sun each day for the past month after reporting on the death of L.A. resident Patrick Maloney, who died after jumping a homeless encampment outside of a downtown Santa Monica hotel.
In a matter of hours, the L.A. City Council unanimously approved a measure that would allow the city to “remove” homeless encampments from public land. The bill was then quickly co-sponsored by Councilman Paul Krekorian, who sits on the Homelessness Committee.
It was a bold new step by the council to respond to what many in the news media and the public believe to be a new epidemic of homelessness in Los Angeles and to bring Los Angeles into the era of what they describe as “homelessness purgatory.”
But the council’s bill has run into a long list of problems as we’ve written about it as a fact check. Despite the council’s recent action, there are still more homeless persons on the streets in the city of Los Angeles than there were last year.
There has been much debate over those figures, but we’ll leave that to the facts and figures people can make up or find on their own.
If we give Caruso the benefit of the doubt, it doesn’t look like the council members and their members of the homeless committee have done anything to help.
Caruso has claimed that there are “well over 100 homeless people in downtown Los Angeles, and a large portion live on the sidewalks, under bridges, in doorways, and on roofs…”
In fact, there are fewer homeless people downtown in L.A. than there were last year. However, that’s the least of our worries. What should concern us is Caruso’s claim that the number of homeless people downtown has gotten much