Unhomeless the Homeless in California

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**Declare State of Emergency in California for All Homeless Individuals and their Companion Animals**
 

  • *♡♡♡PLEASE REMEMBER♡♡♡* THAT THE NUMBERS LISTED IN THIS PETITION REPRESENT ACTUAL ***♡♡♡HUMAN BEINGS♡♡♡***

On any given night, there are over 148,000 homeless people in California - 23% of the entire nation’s homeless population.

In L.A. County, for example, the number of homeless people climbed 13% in a year to just over 60,000, according to the latest point-in-time count.

**The Los Angeles County count found a 24% increase in homeless youth, defined as people under 25, and a 7% jump in people 62 or older. 

Officials estimate about 29% of people experiencing homelessness in the county are mentally ill or coping with substance abuse problems.

About two-thirds of all people on the streets of metro Los Angeles are male, just under one-third are female, and about 2% identify as transgender or gender non-conforming.

This year’s Count revealed that 23% of the unsheltered people experiencing homelessness—more than 9,200 people—were homeless for the first time last year.

The majority (53%) cited economic hardship as the cause. 

Los Angeles County has the second largest population of homeless people of any region in the United States, according to a government report released Wednesday.

In Los Angeles, 600,000 people are considered "severely rent burdened," which means they spend half their income on rent. More than 8,000 people became homeless here for the first time last year, according to the 2017 Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority report.

"We are reaching levels of inequality that we have not seen since the Gilded Age," said Tracy Rosenthal of the Los Angeles Tenants Union.

The union helps organize tenant boycotts against things like rent increases and gentrification.

**Updated 9/19** In L.A. County, for example, the number of homeless people climbed 12% in a year to just shy of 59,000, according to the latest point-in-time count. Within the city, the number soared to more than 36,000, a 16% increase.

Los Angeles County's total — 55,188 — was behind only New York City's 76,501, according to the 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. However, 95 percent of people experiencing homelessness in New York City were sheltered, the report found, while only 22 percent of those experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles were sheltered in 2017.

The HUD report findings were similar to the results of the 2017 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count released in June by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, which put the county's homeless total at 57,794 — an increase of 23 percent over the previous count.

The HUD report found that on one night in January, nearly one of every four people experiencing homelessness in the United States was in New York City or Los Angeles.

According to the report, overall homelessness increased nationwide this year for the first time in seven years, by slightly under 1 percent compared to 2016. On a given night across the country, 553,742 people were homeless, with nearly two-thirds housed in shelters or transitional housing programs and one- third living on the streets, according to the report

L.A.'s big increase in homelessness had a significant impact on the national numbers. Between 2016 and 2017, individual homelessness increased by 9 percent (15,540 people) in the nation's major cities. Los Angeles accounted for 60 percent of this increase.

According to the report, Los Angeles County ranked:

- second nationally in the percent of unsheltered homeless, at 84.3 percent;

- first in the number of individuals who are homeless, at 47,082;

- first in the number of unaccompanied homeless youth at 5,163; and first in the number of homeless veterans (4,476) and percentage of unsheltered veterans (76.1 percent).

California had 134,278 homeless people, and while the Golden State has the nation's largest population, the rate of 34 homeless residents per 10,000 people was twice the national average, according to the report. Of those, 68 percent were living on the streets, by far the worst percentage. The report said half the nation's homeless live in California, New York, Florida, Texas or Washington.

Counties across the state are facing a pervasive and deepening homeless crisis that imminently endangers the health and safety of tens of thousands of residents, including veterans, women, children, LGBT, youth, persons with disabilities and seniors. 

Nowhere is this more evident than in Los Angeles County at least  134,278 men, women and children -- 10,000 to 12,000 in Downtown, including more than 8,000 parents and children in the San Fernando Valley alone -- are without homes.More than 53,000 homeless people, or 40 percent of the state’s total, live in Los Angeles County. That number is up from about 36,000 just six years ago.

There are beds for less than one third of the homeless in Los Angeles county, comprehensive services are available to far fewer than half, and the county jails are routinely used as a substitution for mental health facilities. 

In Los Angeles county the tremendous scale of homelessness threatens the economic stability of the entire region by burdening emergency medical services and the social services infrastructure.

It is time to treat this crisis like the emergency it truly is.  The increasing numbers of displaced homeless people and the lack of ongoing resources to stably re-house them require immediate and extraordinary action.

That is why We in LA County are taking the lead in a statewide effort to ask Governor Brown to declare a state of emergency in California to address this growing humanitarian crisis.

We need:

*Provide 50,000 more vouchers, through a combination of Housing Choice Vouchers and Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers, two longstanding key programs that provide needed rental subsidies for extremely low-income Americans;

*Increse the value of those vouchers to account for the high cost of rents in America’s cities and counties; and,

*Create a program based on best-practices to incentivize landlords to work with voucher holders to find stable housing

Specifically, we urge you to implement the following recommendations:

(1) Create a system for secure storage of the personal property of people experiencing homelessness. Without reasonable provision for the storage and safety of homeless people’s possessions (for example, a site with a tub or shopping cart - sized public locker system), homeless encampments are inevitable.

(2) Meet the basic medical and hygienic needs of the homeless people in our midst. Beyond simply assuring access to public restrooms throughout our cities / county during the day, we ask that you:

a) Establish a system of easily accessible medical / hygienic facilities (perhaps through medical vans or hygienic equivalents) to be made available to homeless people during the day, so that they could be treated for simple ailments like colds or the flu, as well as have their persons and their belongings “deloused” (freed from bed bugs / lice)

b) Establish a system of infirmaries and, if needed, one-night quarantine wards for those arriving ill or infested with bugs, so that homeless persons arriving at the shelters for the night can become confident that they will not simply contract the flu or pests while sleeping at the shelters.

(3) Do not close shelters (that is, do not expel the people that the shelters are serving) before a reasonable hour (7-8 am). No one should be forced to leave a shelter at 5 or 6 am, literally into the cold and darkness, before most other businesses and services open.

(4) Establish a system of “day centers,” often called “multipurpose centers,” so that people experiencing homelessness have safe places to go to during the day where they could have many of the above mentioned needs met, as well have places to receive counseling, access to phones and computers with internet access for jobs, possible family and/or friends to reconnect  or simply to rest /recreate.

(5) Respect the right of people experiencing homelessness to file complaints against homeless service providers and allow them to document the problems and complaints they have about the shelters through photography, video, or audio recordings

MUCH MORE NEEDS TO BE ACTUALLY IMPLEMENTED NOW !

Please join us! Sign our petition urging to declare the homeless crisis a state of emergency and bring the concerted effort and resources needed to tackle this crisis in a meaningful way. 

Homelessness, Humanitarianism, Social justice, Human Rights, Economic Justice, Homeless crisis, Affordable housing, Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, and the Right to Live Free of prejudice. 

No human in our country should be homeless. Let's take the first step together. Every single man, woman, child, baby deserves a safe place to call home. Along with their cats, dogs, birds, fish, and all the other additional animals types that are "family pets/companionship and should be lovingly taken cherished in a home also.

Please then Share this petition with your family, friends, neighbors, and on your social media to spread the word even further. 

Thank you for your support.