Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas recently sponsored a motion in City Council to further address the city’s homelessness crisis.
“The conditions on the streets are morally unconscionable – and we will do nothing to upend the status quo if we continue with business as usual,” said the councilman. “The advancement of Los Angeles’ first-ever Citywide Street Engagement Strategy provides new terms of engagement – a uniform but nimble framework, coupled with more resources and personnel – that will enable more teams to be deployed to the streets with a commitment to compassionately provide services and housing to help our most disenfranchised neighbors come indoors.
“Without a Street Engagement Strategy in place, we know that an ‘enforcement alone’ approach would simply shuffle unhoused residents throughout the city, from one neighborhood to another. This is a crisis that requires care, compassion and compliance.
“I want to thank my colleagues, both on the Homelessness and Poverty Committee and on the Energy, Climate Change, Environmental Justice, and River Committee for their diligent work in advancing this important initiative. There are no quick fixes to this crisis – we need to roll up our sleeves and begin the hard work. But that work begins on the streets.
“We will only be able to provide the housing and services that are needed if trusted and skilled outreach workers are able to effectively engage – and this strategy is the roadmap to do it, and do it well, Ridley-Thomas said.
“The full City council should act swiftly to adopt the Street Engagement Strategy, as time is of the essence.”