Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Why Democrats Don’t Help The Homeless

Can the mayors of Los Angeles and San Francisco succeed where Gov. Gavin Newsom failed?

Apr 17, 2023
San Francisco Mayor London Breed, California Governor Gavin Newsom, and Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass (Getty Images

By Beige Luciano-Adams

In Los Angeles, we see more incidents of street addicts in psychotic states taking off all their clothes.

“I saw the couch one day out there, and I think, ‘Oh my God,’” a business owner living near a homeless encampment said. “The next day, I came back and see she’s all over the couch, and she’s just naked. She was crying.”

Such increasingly common episodes are of concern because the percentage of women living on the street who report being victims of sexual assault ranges between 60% and 100%.

Across L.A., thousands of mentally ill, manic, and psychotic people live in tents and RVs filled with garbage. A woman fills shopping carts from the dumpster in the Echo Park neighborhood. She piles the detritus around her van, blocking the street, despite regular visits from counselors, the sanitation department, and police.

Violence is pervasive. Three men were recently stabbed near Skid Row in Downtown Los Angeles, and another three people suffered fatal overdoses in permanent supportive housing. Two weeks ago, a woman in Venice Beach fled from an altercation with an RV owner camped illegally beside her home.

“I was afraid for my life,” said Soledad Ursua. “It’s not the first time. People say it’s a housing crisis. But when you see someone passed out in their own vomit or covered in feces and doing drugs, you realize it’s drugs and mental illness.”

The so-called “homeless crisis” is nearly ten times worse in L.A. than in San Francisco. There are 7,800 homeless people in San Francisco County and 69,000 in Los Angeles County. And where the number of people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco declined by 3.5%, in L.A., the number rose by nearly 30% between 2018 and 2022.


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