- There is no one-size-fits-all solution for solving the crisis of homelessness in Los Angeles.
There are tens of thousands of homeless individuals in LA County, but reentry transitional housing, tiny homes and shelter beds number only in the hundreds. We have thousands of former prisoners, people who are mentally ill, runaway children and adults escaping abuse and thousands of others whose lives have been devastated by the economic effects of Los Angeles County’s overly harsh CoVid19 lockdowns. Obviously, more must be done, but throwing good money after bad will only continue to enrich participants in the “homeless industrial complex,” while doing little to help people in need.
Before Congress appropriates another penny, I propose that full audits of all programs receiving funds to serve the needs of the unhoused be conducted to determine which agencies and contractors are using those funds wisely and which are merely enlarging their bank accounts with taxpayer funds. Before we can solve the problem, we must rid the system of cronyism. Hundreds of millions of dollars in public funds (federal, state, county and city) have been doled out in the form of bonds to a small circle of developers by California’s political elites. These crooks pocket the money and build little to no housing. This must end! We the people demand greater accountability. If corrupt politicians grant millions of dollars to developer pals, who do not use the funds to build safe, low-cost housing for a reasonable price, within a reasonable timeframe, the people have a right to demand a return of those funds to public coffers. No more cronyism!
- There are approximately 4,000 homeless veterans currently suffering and trying to survive on the streets of Los Angeles County. These men and women sacrificed their health and sanity in service to our nation, and they are being treated like garbage, because greedy real estate predators and UCLA, among others, are stealing their home. This is not merely a crime against humanity, it is a threat to national security. No one in his/her right mind is going to volunteer for military service, put life and limb on the line, if such inhumane treatment is the thanks they can expect to receive afterwards.
In 2013, numerous illegal land users were ordered by a federal judge to vacate the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers (a/k/a West LA VA), but through back room deals, they contrived to remain in place and expand their thievery operations. We must ensure that all funds for construction and renovation of housing on the property go to actual construction and not into the pockets of political cronies, and that such housing be made available exclusively for veterans, with neither age nor income limitations. The Soldiers Home was created to be a tranquil setting adjacent to the services veterans need to heal, both physically and mentally. This is the quality care our veterans have earned. As your Representative in Congress, I will make housing them in the buildings established for their care on their National Home a top priority.
I will use the power of the purse to promote actual solutions to the problem of over 80,000 homeless people living on the streets of Los Angeles. Through research, I have learned that LA County has a severe shortage of housing for former prison inmates (over half of our homeless population). Upon release, they receive $200 and a ride into town, where they are dumped on the street. They commit crimes for survival, and often intentionally to be arrested and returned to the safety of prison.
The “housing first” policy is just a scam whereby developers receive taxpayer funds for apartment buildings to provide “low-income housing,” which they convert to private ownership.
I propose leasing empty office buildings to create halfway houses for former prisoners, with private bedrooms, but common kitchens and bathrooms, on-site supervision, mental health services and life skills classes. This is the way to lift tens of thousands of homeless off the streets, while assisting former inmates in rebuilding their lives outside of prison walls. CoVid accelerated the trend of remote work, which has left commercial landlords struggling to fill empty offices. My plan will help property owners, while reducing costs associated with the correctional system, law enforcement and sanitation. We will have safer, cleaner streets and neighborhoods. Everybody wins!
END CRONYISM AND CORRUPTION AND EMPLOY A MULTI-PRONGED APPROACH TO SOLVING THE HOMELESS CRISIS