September 16, 2021
  • 10:13 am Bank of Ireland sees losses surge
  • 10:13 am Retail sales up faster than forecast
  • 10:12 am Investors attack Mecom
  • 10:12 am Hedge funds lost out in August after stocks fell
  • 10:10 am Diageo says Europe is weak

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Requests for emergency shelter soared 30 percent last year in the city of Los Angeles, the highest increase in the nation, according to a recent study by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The study also found that 76 percent of cities surveyed had an increase in requests for food assistance. Such requests in L.A. increased 25 percent, the fourth-highest increase in the nation, which averaged a 12 percent increase. “Los Angeles County has more homeless men, women and children than any other region in the United States with more than 90,000 people who are homeless every single night in the county,” said Paul Tepper, director of the Institute for the Study of Homelessness and Poverty at the Weingart Center in Los Angeles. “The underlying reason that homelessness is growing – and for that matter exists – is quite simple. It’s poverty.” In the 1960s, homelessness was not an issue in L.A., he said. There was a handful of shelters, mostly missions from the turn of the century. “Today, there are hundreds of shelters in the county,” he said. The annual survey of 24 major cities nationwide, which did not factor in weather conditions, sought information on the demand for emergency food assistance and emergency shelter, the capacity of local agencies to meet the demand, the causes of hunger and homelessness and programs cities use to respond to the needs and availability of affordable housing for low-income people. The survey comes as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the Board of Supervisors, LAPD Chief William J. Bratton and Sheriff Lee Baca have dedicated funds and expressed a renewed interest in solving the homelessness problem. Bob Erlenbusch, executive director of the Los Angeles Coalition to End Hunger & Homelessness, said the county’s homeless population is twice the size of New York City’s, and it would take the combined totals of homeless people in the cities with the third- to 10th-highest populations of homeless to equal the number in the county. “Overall, the lack of affordable housing, the lack of mental health and substance abuse services, unemployment and poverty has had a cumulative effect of continuing to add to the ranks of the homeless in L.A.,” Erlenbusch said. The survey also found that more than half of the cities reported that emergency food assistance programs were not able to provide an adequate supply of food. Nationwide, more than half of those requesting food were families and their children. In the county, about a third of food assistance agencies said they not only had to decrease the quantity of food but had to limit the number of times families had to get food. Although the hundreds of thousands of evacuees from Hurricane Katrina and Rita have not yet had a significant strain on resources, officials are concerned that what they called a lack of federal commitment to the evacuees could eventually reduce resources devoted to the hungry and homeless. “The impacts of Hurricane Katrina and Rita have exposed the poverty and needs that have been in this report for the last 20 years,” said Long Beach Mayor Beverly O’Neill, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Troy Anderson, (213) 974-8985 [email protected]last_img