Judge orders L.A. to shelter Skid Row homeless by fall
More than 66,400 homeless people lived in Los Angeles County in January 2020, according to the city. That’s a nearly 13 percent increase from the year before, despite massive spending on the problem. Frustrated business owners and community members sued the city and county, and on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge David Carter issued a 110-page ruling requiring Los Angeles to find shelter for all the homeless living on the notorious Skid Row within 180 days. He also ordered the city to audit recent spending on homelessness and hold $1 billion in escrow until it can report a spending plan to the court. A day earlier, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti pledged almost $1 billion to fight homelessness in the coming fiscal year.
Will the city meet the requirement? Garcetti told reporters that the city could not afford to delay its large investment in housing and services: “Putting a billion dollars in escrow that doesn’t exist doesn’t seem possible.” He also expressed skepticism that officials could successfully get the Skid Row homeless into shelter by October. L.A. County is considering appealing the ruling.
Dig deeper: Read my report in Compassion on this lawsuit and the unconventional hearing Judge Carter held on Skid Row.
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