As expected, Los Angeles County has given notice to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that it will fight a federal judge’s order that the city and county must offer housing to the entire homeless population of downtown’s Skid Row by October.
The three-page notice of appeal filed on April 21 in Los Angeles federal court states that the county is appealing U.S. District Judge David O. Carter’s mandate setting a timetable by which single women and unaccompanied children in Skid Row must be offered placement within 90 days, and every indigent person in the downtown area must be offered shelter by Oct. 18.
Officials believe there are several thousand persons currently living on Skid Row streets.
Following Carter’s expansive 110-page order—in which he ordered the audit of all public money spent in recent years to combat the crisis that has spread throughout the region—city and county lawyers deemed the mandate overly broad, unmanageable and in danger of overturning the role of local government and longstanding programs dealing with the homeless.
The judge’s sudden order came in response to a request for immediate court intervention submitted last week by the L.A. Alliance for Human Rights, the plaintiffs in a year-old federal lawsuit seeking to compel the city and county to quickly and effectively deal with the problem.
The judge suggested that Skid Row—a sprawling 50-block area in Downtown LA containing one of the largest populations of indigent people in the nation—was a byproduct of a legacy of racism that left Black people and especially Black women “effectively abandoned on the streets.”