We believe encampment sweeps and Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) Section 41.18 criminalizes the existence of the poorest people in Los Angeles. The City is punishing people who are forced to live on the streets because they cannot afford housing. The 2022 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count was the first report released since 41.18 was implemented last summer. The data shows homelessness has gone up 4% in Los Angeles County, direct evidence that 41.18 is a failed policy. Paul Koretz and his office has continuously neglected unhoused neighbors in CD5. Since he took office in 2013 homelessness has gone up 175% in his district.
Our unhoused neighbors are a diverse population who have fallen into homelessness for different reasons; they are seniors, veterans, foster youth, people with disabilities, individuals and families that can't afford rent, people with layers of trauma, people fleeing domestic violence, to name a few. Five unhoused people die a day in Los Angeles. The City knows this yet they continue to neglect the housing and public health crisis and instead of addressing the causes they focus on the symptoms to perpetuate a fear mongering narrative of those experiencing chronic homelesness. We demand that the city offer our unhoused communities permanent supportive housing with wraparound services instead of ineffective interim "solutions'' that continue to fail people with false promises of a path towards permanent housing.
Los Angeles offers few alternatives to living on the streets, and many of those alternatives are inadequate for getting people off the street permanently or have restrictions that prevent certain people from accessing them. We have collected too many testimonials from unhoused neighbors violently displaced by encampment sweeps telling us that they have never received any offers of housing. Encampment sweeps and 41.18 violently isolates and disconnects our unhoused communities from community resources and support.