Are we accessories to the crime of leaving people on the streets and every complication that comes from this crime?
Folks who insist on leaving 44,000 on the streets without shelter while we wait for eventual, far out in the future, costly, imaginary housing units at $600 thousand per unit, are applying cruel and unusual punishment to 10’s of thousands of people who haven’t committed any crime other than losing everything. I say imaginary not because they aren’t being built, but because more than 5,000 Angelenos will perish on our streets before even 5300 units can be built over the next few years. We will never end homelessness in Los Angeles at $600 thousand per unit. We need to construct immediate 24/7/365 Triage/Emergency/Bridge Shelters like the Sprung.com just opened by URM.org
3 to 4 Angelenos are dying from complications of homelessness each day in Los Angeles, Ca, over 1000 precious human beings, 10 times more than died in the state of California this past year from natural disasters, including wildfires.
People devastated by homelessness represent just 1% of our population but represent 17% of homicide victims in LA.
Others have been attacked by mentally ill people devastated by homelessness and struggling with untreated mental illness and rage.
The folks on the streets are vulnerable and are most at risk of danger from their housed and their unhoused neighbors.
We have left so many people on the streets for so long, we have allowed the devastation and destruction of thousands of people. Homelessness devastates people physically, emotionally, psychologically, educationally, vocationally, and in every way.
The young man who approached me on New Year’s Eve, when I spent the night on the streets, had lost his job, his home, had lived in his car, then lost his car and was on the streets for just two weeks, yet said he was becoming someone other than himself as he lashed out at God and us verbally for over 2 hours before we convinced him to come to Union Rescue Mission to rest.
When a gang member attacked us while I was describing the impact and danger of leaving people on the streets devastated by homelessness to KNBC News, a very troubled former boxer came out of his tent and stuttered, “These are good people”, then knocked the much larger gang member out..
The man who came to our aid, has unfortunately, committed many acts of violence since then.
Human beings were not meant to survive on the streets. They are pushed beyond their limits and reduced far beyond beyond a “survival of the fittest” mode of operating.
There will be more fear, more attempted kidnappings, more attacks, and more murders of innocent people, especially innocent people living on the streets.
If we continue to leave human beings on the streets we will especially endanger the people on the streets but we will endanger all Angelenos.
Murders are up 5% in all of Los Angeles, but up 20% in downtown, due to the proximity to Skid Row, but again, the increase is to people without homes as well as by people without homes.
Again, if we don’t act, we are accessories to this inhumanity and all of the consequences related to this crisis. We should act now to provide places to go.
I reminded our staff today that putting anyone out with no where to go for anything less than violence and a call to LAPD puts the people we care for at risk and puts URM at risk as we are responsible for them.
It puts my character and reputation at risk and makes me liable for them both personally and financially.
We are our brothers and sisters keepers, after all.
Rescue the perishing; don’t hesitate to step in and help. If you say, “Hey, that’s none of my business,” will that get you off the hook? Someone is watching you closely, you know— Someone not impressed with weak excuses.”
Proverbs 24:3-4, 11-12 MSG
Why doesn’t our city and county and state and federal government and all Angelenos think like that?
Are city, county, and our leaders personally responsible.
Please all, act now, together, without delay!!