Photo courtesy of Eve Fouché
California State University, Fullerton

Op-Ed: Attention to Los Angeles Homelessness

Every single year, the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles county and particularly in Skid Row rises. These are people who are just like us. Many are newly released from prison and do not know how to assimilate into the world, some are Veterans, some are children, and others are ordinary individuals who simply lost their jobs.

The women that you see pushing the shopping carts, or the man you see who is laying curled up on the corner of the street, these are individuals who at one point in there life did not think they would get to this grim point, but they did. They are struggling living in unsanitary environments, surrounded by harmful diseases, physical violence, and harassment. They are casted out to be a burden to society and neighborhoods by callous residents.

Los Angeles is growing in terms of the high residential prices and lack of affordable rent prices. With the high living costs, naturally, Californian residents will feel that they cannot keep up with the demands of living in California and therefore become homeless. But as a community, nation, and as residents of California, it is urgent to not turn a blind eye to this crisis.

Mayor Eric M. Garcetti passed in April ordinances that will work to create supportive housing to address the homelessness and work to eradicate this ongoing issue that has been persistent for decades. There is definitely hope for this cause, but this rests primarily on proposed plans following through, with the goal of establishing housing to take care of the thousands of people who are clumped together with their pain, throughout cities in Los Angeles.

Furthermore, it is vital to think of other methods of drawing attention to this devastating problem. For instance, CSUF hosted a Symposium on Homelessness in Orange County, in efforts to address the lack of effective strategies to formulate solutions as a community. But it is important to understand that even with the attempts made by individuals who attended this event, and even with Garcetti’s approved ordinances to eradicate homelessness: the continued and proactive recognition and action to help the homeless and to instill effective long-term solutions should be a first and foremost goal.

Small efforts even with universities spreading awareness will be sufficient to set momentum going in the right direction. Any creative strategy to raise consciousness, will be better than pretending that this problem is not getting worser and worser. Without setting this as a primary concern that needs to be continuously worked on, change will be harder to see and difficult to accomplish with the actively upwards growth of homelessness per year.

Homeless individuals deserve our help, our attention, and respect. They deserve to feel safe at night. They deserve access to treatments they need. They deserve to survive and live a full life. As human beings, we must take the appropriate measures to realize that this issue is only getting worse.

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