7 July 2019 | Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles, recently addressed the homelessness crisis in the city during a talk at Hollywood Adventist Church.
On the afternoon of Friday, June 14, Garcetti spoke to a high-energy meeting of freshly trained outreach workers that have been charged with helping to bring homeless people out of encampments that dot the city, to new housing units.
Some of the workers had themselves been homeless. They are now part of a crew of 800 that are working on this transitioning of the homeless population.
“I look at a city that is fighting for its soul right now,” Garcetti told the new front line workers according to the Los Angeles Times. He added that 900 homeless people had died last year in the city.
Hollywood Adventist has, for years, been a vocal advocate for social justice issues including affordable housing and homelessness in the city. Some homeless individuals attend Sabbath services as part of the congregation.
The city of Los Angeles is slowly making progress in their attempts to reduce homelessness, and more than 20,000 people were housed last year.
High rent in the city and steady gentrification are major challenges, however, and homeless encampments can be seen across the downtown area and in many of the neighborhoods as people pitch tents and other makeshift housing on sidewalks and in other areas.