Letters to the Editor: Is Rick Caruso’s ‘short-term’ homelessness plan what L.A. needs?
A homeless person waits in line at a homeless shelter in Los Angeles last month. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)
There have been two articles in today’s print or online issues of the Los Angeles Blade about Caruso and his homeless plan.
In these situations, I find it appropriate to respond to both of them, because they both ignore basic facts.
I’m amazed that anyone who has lived or has visited Los Angeles would find an answer that could only be described as “short-term” to be acceptable. For example, if someone asked you what you meant by “short-term,” you could respond, “It means nothing.”
That’s exactly what Caruso offered in his “short-term” homelessness plan with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. And it is an answer that no one in this city who has spent time in its neighborhoods in the past 20 years has ever heard: “Short-term” means nothing, except perhaps that what we did in the ’70s and ’80s still exists with new names and new forms.
The issue at hand is “long-term” homelessness. This is the homelessness that doesn’t last a year or two. That’s it. There is no way to compare that, for the sake of argument, with Caruso’s “short-term” plan.
I don’t expect to find any evidence that Caruso’s plan would have eliminated homelessness. But there are a lot of facts that don’t support his plan.
People don’t seem to understand that this “short term” plan is not about helping the people who are homeless now. It’s about helping the people who are going to be homeless if the homeless services system doesn’t get its act together.
If Caruso’s plan were implemented, we would be