So says Mayor Villaraigosa anyway. Here’s a rather detailed piece on SacBee about the a 200-or-so-page report released this week which basically said we’ve got a crapload of homeless people here.
“The report by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority estimated that 82,291 people were homeless in Los Angeles County on any given night in 2005, with about 48,103 of the county’s homeless living within Los Angeles’ city limits…
“The study also reported that California’s estimated homeless population of 195,367 is the highest in the nation. Forty-six percent of the state’s homeless population is located in Los Angeles County, according to researchers, who determined that one of every 110 people in the county are homeless on any given night.”
While I guess this is news, I’m not sure it’s that surprising. I mean, if you were going to be homeless year round, where would you want to live? Los Angeles or Chicago? Los Angeles or New York? No snow makes a big difference I’m sure. But what I want to know is how come it took some huge report to figure this out? Have these people never been downtown on 5th street? Have you ever seen anything like that in any other town in the US? Obviously we’ve got way homeless people here. There’s some other real shockers in the report like this:
“The survey found that more than 34 percent of the homeless reported experiencing mental illness and 55 percent of all homeless reported experiencing depression. About 35 percent reported using drugs, while 40 percent said they were using alcohol.”
Can you believe it? Mental Illness? Depression?? Alcohol useage??? I hope a monsterous chunk of my taxes went to pay the people who did the research on this. No because they deserve it, hell if you’d asked me last week about those breakdown that’s about what I would have guessed. No, they need to get paid because they pulled off a major scam. I can’t wait for their next report where they tell us just how wet the water at the beach is.
For an outside of CA perspective, contrast the above with this take on the topic from KWWL in Iowa. I’m pretty sure they are more baffled by the correct pronunciation of Villaraigosa (vee-yah-ry-GOH’-sah) than the actual news.