Walter suffers from schizophrenia. Both he and his wife are kind and gentle people. Because of the affordable housing crisis and the lack of support for people who are homeless or have a mental illness, they have no choice but to sleep outside. No matter what the politicians say, there is no support to get Walter and his wife off the streets. Sadly, they have a better chance of dying than getting the help they need.
Los Angeles budgeted $30 million for homeless sweeps this fiscal year. L.A. has also budgeted massive funding for “enforcement zones” around the budge housing. The cost to taxpayers of these homeless sweeps around the homeless shelters is more than the budget to run the shelter.
Communities claim that homeless sweeps are needed because homelessness is a public safety issue. It is. It’s actually a public safety crisis. But the truth is all the homeless sweeps do is displace people who have no place to go and they eat taxpayer money. Without support to get homeless people the help they need, sweeps are inhumane and do absolutely nothing to solve the crisis. Homeless sweeps actually make it worse!
Walter and his wife lost everything in the sweeps including all of their clothes. Walter went for a cup of coffee and when he returned, sanitation workers were dumping all of their belonging in a pile mixed with everyone else’s stuff. Walter pleaded with the workers but they never give mercy.
The Mayor of Los Angeles said in an LA Times article that the city is now using a more “nuanced” approach to sweeps and that there are social workers present. The real truth is, rarely are support workers present. The reason is, there are no shelter beds and there is no housing to help people. Plus, claiming the sweeps which are aggressive as all hell are nuanced is a flat out lie.
If you live in Los Angeles follow #ServicesNotSweeps on social media or visit https://servicesnotsweeps.com. As a taxpayer, you are paying more for sweeps than you are to help people. There is something seriously wrong with that.
We wrote about it here: ‘Services Not Sweeps’ Aims to Reform Homeless Sweeps in Los Angeles.