Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti takes 'full responsibility' after homelessness rises 12%
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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is highlighting the plans in motion to tackle the city's homelessness crisis, which he described as "perhaps the most complex and difficult civic challenge" in a generation.
Last week, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority announced that the number of homeless people in Los Angeles County jumped 12% over the past year to a total of 58,936.
Youth homelessness rose 24%, in part due to improvements in counting the population, and the number of seniors 62 and over rose more than 8%, according to the release.
In an open letter to residents Tuesday, Garcetti wrote that the problem needs to be treated like "the humanitarian emergency that it is."
HOMELESS IN L.A.: Aerial footage above Los Angeles shows evidence of the city’s homelessness problem, with the population spiking, thousands living in “tent cities” and Mayor Eric Garcetti taking responsibility for what he calls a “humanitarian emergency.” https://t.co/Bp17lD1JCspic.twitter.com/e7ZgexBbyd
More than 100 projects are in the works to help alleviate the problem, Garcetti said, adding that the "first job" is to build housing because "Angelenos are becoming homeless faster than we can provide housing for them."
"And like everyone who has seen families in tents or spoken to a homeless veteran in need, I am both heartbroken and impatient."
The homelessness budget has increased to more than $460 million for housing and services, 25 times what it was four years ago, and the city is ahead of its goal to build 100,000 new units of housing, according to the letter.
"As your mayor, I take full responsibility for our response to this crisis," Garcetti said. "And like everyone who has seen families in tents or spoken to a homeless veteran in need, I am both heartbroken and impatient."
Belongings of the homeless crowd a downtown Los Angeles sidewalk, May 30, 2019.