A person or family who is chronically homeless lacks a fixed, regular, or adequate nighttime residence. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, individuals or families living in a hotel/motel or garage would also fall into the same category.
According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), the lead agency in the Los Angeles Continuum of Care that coordinates housing and services for homeless families and individuals in Los Angeles County, the upsurge in homeless people is the result of stagnant earnings, soaring housing prices, a lack of investment in mental health services, a lack of tenant protections, and discriminatory land use. Another significant factor is criminalization.
According to Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), 60 percent of Los Angeles' homeless population has been involved with the criminal justice system. Although Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) was unable to conduct an unsheltered count in 2021, the agency was able to conduct a sheltered count in January and discovered 17,225 people in an interim or permanent shelter, roughly the same as the previous year. Black people made up 42.6 percent of the sheltered population, while Latinos made up 38.7 percent. Migrants from Honduras and other Central American countries have been known to camp in parks, living among other homeless people, some of whom are addicted to drugs.
In September 2021, the city of Denver announced that Civic Center Park will be closing from Sep 15 due to Significant Public Health and Environmental Health risks. Many unsafe conditions, including improperly discarded needles and other drug paraphernalia, were cited by city officials as endangering visitors and workers tasked with maintaining the park. Graffiti and fire damage to the historic stone structures will necessitate professional restoration, according to city officials.
Another park in Los Angeles County closed down in October 2021 for similar reasons. According to the Los Angeles Times, MacArthur Park will be closed for about ten weeks beginning Oct. 15 to allow the City's Department of Recreation and Parks to catch up on necessary maintenance that was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On September 29, the office of L.A. City Councilman Gil Cedillo counted 45 tents scattered across 32 acres of the park divided by Wilshire Boulevard.
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