The Lancaster City Council has declared a state of emergency against Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass’ plan for a mass movement of homeless individuals to the Antelope Valley. This plan has sparked widespread outrage and concern, and Lancaster is taking immediate action.
“I strongly oppose Mayor Bass’ plan to move the LA homeless population to a village in the Antelope Valley. This kind of inhumane and degrading treatment of individuals who are already struggling is unacceptable and must be stopped. How can you claim that your city is a sanctuary city while sending your own citizens away,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris.
“Instead of isolating and ostracizing people who are homeless, we should be providing them with the support and resources they need to get back on their feet,” he said. “We must reject this cruel and misguided approach and work towards a more compassionate and effective solution to homelessness.”
“In Mayor Bass’ recent speech about her plan to curb the LA homeless problem, what she failed to mention is a relocation strategy, which wouldn’t adequately solve the issue and one that we stand firmly against,” Parris said.
In an LA Times article, Bass said, “There’s a big chunk of land in Palmdale and maybe we could create a village out there.”
The opposition believes moving homeless individuals to Palmdale and the Antelope Valley will only serve to create new problems for the homeless community in these areas, such as a lack of affordable housing and adequate resources to properly address mental health and addiction issues.
Lancaster City Council stated that instead of moving the homeless out of sight, Mayor Bass and the city should focus on providing them with the resources and support needed in their home communities.
“It’s a war we’re going to be engaged in with the City of Los Angeles to prevent this from happening. We’ve worked extremely hard to increase the quality of life for our residents. Mayor Bass’ plan to move the homeless to the Antelope Valley is irresponsible and inhumane,” Parris said.
“Our community will not stand for this. These individuals should not be forced to leave their home communities against their will to an area that is already strained to provide services. The Antelope Valley’s health care system is already overextended and poor people in the Antelope Valley die years, sometimes decades, earlier than those living in Los Angeles.”
The council believes that creating a homeless village in the Antelope Valley will negatively impact the surrounding community. They cited a large homeless population in one area could lead to increased crime and safety concerns and potential damage to property values. Further, they pointed to a major concern for residents and businesses in the area as homelessness in Lancaster is an issue the city has been unable to adequately address with its existing unhoused population.
As well, there are health concerns for the homeless population who would be moved from a climate ranging from 60-80 degrees annually to the high desert, which experiences extreme weather highs and lows.
“Ask yourself, do you want this in your community? Mayor Bass’ plan is a short-sighted and misguided attempt to solve a complex and challenging issue,” Parris said. “We must come together as a community and ensure that the city we built isn’t driven into the ground by this attempt to sweep their problem under the rug. She’s looking for an easy way out of a hard problem. Buckle up.”