Will Mayor Bass Make Good On Homelessness Promises? And Other Headlines (2023)

Support your source for local news!

The local news you read here every day is crafted for you, but right now, we need your help to keep it going. In these uncertain times, your support is even more important. Today, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership. Thank you.


  • Tracking Mayor Bass' promises on homelessness
  • More News
  • Why Did Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And James Baldwin Go To Beverly Hills in 1968?

What do 4,339 Southern Californians say needs immediate action from Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass?

Tracking Mayor Bass' promises on homelessness

About How to LA Newsletter

  • This is the web version of our How To LA newsletter. Sign up here to get this newsletter sent to your inbox each weekday morning

(Video) Bass declares homelessness emergency

Late last year, LAist set out to hear from Angelenos about their top priorities for incoming L.A. Mayor Karen Bass. Our goal was to listen to your concerns so we could better align our news coverage to address issues that you told us are top of mind. We kept our survey open for three months, ultimately hearing from thousands of people who live and work across the city.

Support for LAist comes from

What issue came out on top? Homelessness.

Two-thirds of the individuals who responded said that Bass needs to prioritize what many Angelenos feel is the city’s largest crisis. About a third of respondents said homelessness caused them personal stress more than any other issue.

(Video) LA Mayor Karen Bass declares state of emergency on homelessness

Mayor Bass seems to know this. After being sworn in late last year she declared a state of emergency and promised to move 17,000 unhoused people into a mix of interim and permanent housing.

It is a huge effort that will take movement on a bunch of different fronts, from her Inside Safe motel shelter program to federal emergency housing vouchers. In addition to hearing loud and clear that the homelessness crisis was city's biggest problem, we also heard you want to know how Bass is doing on her campaign promises. That's why LAist is now watching progress on some of her key initiatives with our promise tracker. We will update metrics once every three months, and potentially more often if data releases more frequently. This is what we’re watching out for:

  • The number of people housed in Bass’ first year
  • The number of people who’ve entered and left Inside Safe
  • The total cost of the Inside Safe program over time
  • The number of federal emergency housing vouchers leased
  • The number of housing units completed under Proposition HHH
  • The number of people experiencing homelessness in L.A. over time

The mayor will be on LAist’s AirTalk later this morning in the 10 a.m. hour to address our questions about this.

Now, if you are confused on how we even got here with the homelessness crisis in the first place or need help navigating who is in charge of what, we’ve got you covered. LAist’s Unhoused Communities Reporter Nick Gerda wrote a guide on how to understand homelessness in L.A.

While you’re at it, listen to the latest How To LA podcast episode as Nick and How To LA host Brian De Los Santos discuss the state of affairs when it comes to this ongoing crisis in our city.

There’s more news below — just keep reading.

How To LA

We’re here to help curious Angelenos connect with others, discover the new, navigate the confusing, and even drive some change along the way.

Listen Now

(Video) Mayor Karen Bass declares a state of emergency on the homeless crisis

More News

(After you stop hitting snooze)

  • According to a new UCLA report, Asian Americans don’t have the political clout to secure wins for their preferred candidates in elections, even though they’re the third largest racial group in Los Angeles. My colleague Josie Huang reported on how redistricting plays a role in this, as well as where in L.A. Asian Americans do have influence.
  • It’s time for the Vincent Thomas Bridge, the main gateway to the Port of L.A., to get a makeover. The heavy load that it's carried for nearly 60 years has worn it down. Caltrans officials are seeking input from nearby communities because it will impact their commute.
  • The world’s richest man was planning to build a luxury hotel, but Beverly Hills residents had other ideas. Read my colleague Elly Yu’s article about how voters stood up against Bernard Arnault Forbes and LVMH and defeated his plan for the hotel.
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom and other Democrats are currently at odds on whether to issue a fine on Californians who don’t have health insurance. KFF Health News’ Angela Hart has more on this tension with Democrats who don’t believe that individuals should be taxed for not affording the growing costs of healthcare.
  • Environmentalists and tribal representatives are asking state water officials to stop diverting Mono Lake’s water to L.A. CalMatters Alastair Bland has more details about the legacy of Mono Lake and what rights L.A. actually has to water from the Mono basin.
  • Helmets To Hardhats is a nationwide program that helps veterans adjust to civilian life with apprenticeships in the construction industry. My colleague Tyler Wayne wrote about how the program works.
  • On Tuesday, the state appeals court voted to overturn Newsom’s decision to prohibit parole for Leslie Van Houten, one of Charles Manson’s murderous followers. Read the latest update about the Charles Manson commune here.
  • The eastern Riverside County city of Blythe was already dying, but now the state has decided to close its prison. CalMatters’ Nigel Duara has more on how this prison closing could impact the small town.
  • For Megan Tan, Hainan chicken rice holds special memories. For the latest WILD podcast post, she shared her three top spots for Hainan chicken rice in L.A.

Support for LAist comes from

  • *At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding!

(Video) Mayor Bass declares homelessness emergency

Wait! One More Thing...

Why Did Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And James Baldwin Go To Beverly Hills in 1968?

Will Mayor Bass Make Good On Homelessness Promises? And Other Headlines (2)

The documentary MLK/FBI shows the surveillance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (labeled by the FBI as the "most dangerous" Black person in America). (Courtesy IFC Films)

Today for Way Back In L.A., we’re going to Beverly Hills, 1968.

If you know a little bit about history, you’d know that year was a notable time stamp in our history books. There was a major turning point in the Vietnam War that played a part in weakening U.S. public support for it. Martin Luther King Jr. and U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated. And NASA’s Apollo 8 space mission launched.

Let’s hop into my yellow DeLorean low-rider coupe to travel to Beverly Hills — an area known for its glitz, glamour and wealth — not to shop like the rich and famous, but to hear Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and James Baldwin speak, just 19 days before King was killed.

Harmony Holiday, a contributing writer for Los Angeles Times’ Image magazine, wrote about a benefit for the Vietnam War where Baldwin spoke with vitriol and King with urgency about the growing concern over the war. King connected it to poverty in the United States.

As many people know, in his later years, King became more radical in his tone and advocacy for civil rights and on this day, Holiday wrote, “King was not in Los Angeles to deliver more flowers to the grave of that brotherly love which he had openly mourned and prayed over for decades in his calls for solidarity and unconditional peace; he seemed intent on exposing the necrotic contents of that crypt without remorse."

The Vietnam War was just one of the many things he spoke out against later on in his life, along with poverty and capitalism. So, if you can imagine, this was King in his most revolutionary form.

Read the rest of Holiday’s article about this historic, eventful night in Beverly Hills here.

Help Us Cover Your Community

  • Got something you’ve always wanted to know about Southern California and the people who call it home? Is there an issue you want us to cover? Ask us anything.

  • Have a tip about news on which we should dig deeper? Let us know.

(Video) Promises, Promises: LA Mayoral Candidates Take Different Approaches to Homelessness | NBCLA


What is the best solution to homelessness? ›

  • A Coordinated Approach. To end homelessness, a community-wide coordinated approach to delivering services, housing, and programs is needed. ...
  • Housing as the Solution. The solution to homelessness is simple – housing. ...
  • Assistance for the Most Vulnerable. ...
  • Designing a Crisis Response. ...
  • Increasing Employment and Income.

Why should homelessness be solved? ›

The stress of homelessness can also seriously harm individuals' mental well-being. Research shows that the trauma of experiencing homelessness can cause people to develop mental health problems for the first time and can worsen existing behavioral health challenges.

How does homelessness affect the society? ›

Social Impacts

Without social support systems, people experiencing homelessness live in the shadowy edges of society. Homelessness puts people a higher risks for victimization, poor health, loneliness, and depression, which can lead to chemical dependency, crime, and a host of other issues.

What are the benefits of ending homelessness? ›

Providing permanent supportive housing to the homeless community saves the taxpayer money:
  • Healthcare costs are reduced by 59%
  • Emergency depatment costs are decreased by 61%
  • The number of general inpatient hospitalizations is decreased by 77%

What state has the best homeless programs? ›

Based on this data, we found that Colorado, Georgia and Oregon have the overall best homeless assistance, and Oklahoma, Arkansas and West Virginia have the worst. Factors we looked at include: Transitional housing.

Which country has the best solution for homelessness? ›

In conclusion, while it may not have the smallest homeless population or the lowest rate of homelessness in the world, Finland is the country that handles homelessness the best.

What is the greatest cause of homelessness? ›

Many people become homeless because they can no longer afford the rent. And for many, life events like a relationship breaking down, losing a job, mental or physical health problems, or substance misuse put people under considerable strain.

Who does homelessness affect the most? ›

Families with children represent 30% of the U.S. homeless population, and an additional 6% are adults under the age of 25. About 20% of homeless people in the U.S. are considered “chronically homeless,” 66% of whom have no shelter at all.

Why is it important to talk about homelessness? ›

Talking to Kids About Homelessness Helps Develop Empathy

Not only is discussion about these issues important to a child's individual development and success, but it also has huge implications on the world around them. Opening our children's eyes to people's differences leads to empathetic children.

Where does homelessness have the greatest impact? ›

California, New York and Florida have the largest homeless populations. Across the three heavily populated states, more than 270,000 people are homeless — nearly half of the U.S. homeless population. North Dakota, Wyoming and Mississippi have the smallest homeless populations.

What is an interesting fact about homelessness? ›

Homeless people have an average life expectancy of 50 years old. This short life expectancy is tragic but not necessarily surprising, given that people who are homeless are more likely to get sick, struggle with mental health and/or substance abuse, and are often victims of violence.

How does homelessness affect our economy? ›

In other words, the lack of available affordable housing and higher unemployment rates are linked to greater rates of homelessness, and in turn, greater costs to the economy.

What will happen if we don't stop homelessness? ›

Homelessness Affects All of Us

It impacts the availability of healthcare resources, crime and safety, the workforce, and the use of tax dollars. Further, homelessness impacts the present as well as the future. It benefits all of us to break the cycle of homelessness, one person, one family at a time.

Is it good to give to the homeless? ›

The short answer is No, the long answer is yes. It unquestionably is an individual choice whether they would like to offer monetary aid to the homeless. There is a widespread misconception that homeless people spend money on alcohol and drugs which is only partly true.

Is giving to the homeless good? ›

Giving money to the homeless can be a great way to show kindness, compassion, and generosity. It can also enable them to purchase essential items such as food and supplies that they may not otherwise be able to afford.

What city in the US has the biggest homeless problem? ›

In 2022, Los Angeles had the nation's largest homeless population. About 582,000 Americans are experiencing homelessness, according to 2022 Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) data.

Which US state has the least homeless? ›

Cities With the Largest Homeless Populations in the U.S. Meanwhile, North Dakota, Wyoming, Mississippi, West Virginia and South Dakota have the smallest numbers of homeless people, according to the report. The five states serve as the base for less than 1% of the nation's unhoused population.

What city has the worst homelessness in the US? ›

Denver and Colorado Springs have the largest homeless communities.

What country has no homeless problem? ›

At 0.003% or roughly 1 homeless person per 34,000 residents, Japan is the country with the world's lowest rate of homelessness.

How does Japan avoid homelessness? ›

Japan's strict drug laws, mental health systems and housing options contribute to the countries low homeless population.

What country stopped homelessness? ›

Meanwhile, Finland committed to eradicating homelessness several years ago, and the statistics in that country show it's working. What is Finland's plan to eradicate homelessness? Since several years, homelessness has decreased in Finland, and the current government has a plan to end homelessness completely by 2027.

Who is to blame for homelessness? ›

The causes of homelessness

Drug and alcohol addiction (66% say it is a major cause of homelessness; 20% say it is a minor cause) Mental illness (60% say major cause; 26%, minor cause) Poverty (58% major cause; 25% minor cause) Lack of affordable housing (57% major cause; 24% minor cause)

What are the 4 types of homelessness? ›

Within the homeless definition there are four categories of homelessness:
  • Literally Homeless.
  • Imminent Risk of Homelessness.
  • Homeless Under Other Federal Statutes.
  • Fleeing/Attempting to Flee Domestic Violence.

Which state has the most homeless? ›

California has the largest homeless population in the United States with 161,548 individuals experiencing homelessness. There are several reasons why California has such a high rate of homelessness.

What is the main cause of homelessness in America? ›


68% of U.S. cities report that addiction is a their single largest cause of homelessness. * “Housing First” initiatives are well intentioned, but can be short-sighted. A formerly homeless addict is likely to return to homelessness unless they deal with the addiction.

Why is homelessness increasing in the US? ›

Homelessness, then, is a supply-and-demand problem. Without enough housing, not everyone has a place to live. And the homes that do exist cost more as people compete for limited supply. So more people are priced out, and more end up homeless.

Why don't people help homeless people? ›

Homeless people prompt conflicting reactions ranging from compassion to revulsion. For many, homeless people are disgusting because they're dirty, malodorous, and sometimes on drugs. It's easy to associate homeless people with needles, crime and violence, all of which stimulate fear and loathing.

How do you deal with homeless people? ›

The following tips will help you avoid problems with homeless people.
  1. Talk to your local Community Relations Officer (CRO) or Outreach Officer about any problems with homeless people. ...
  2. Avoid confrontations and maintain a safe distance. ...
  3. Do not offer food or money. ...
  4. Do not permit anyone to camp or loiter on agency property.
Dec 4, 2022

How do homeless people feel? ›

Being homeless is destabilizing, demoralizing and depressing. You've lost your base, a foundation from which to function. It becomes hard to focus. Constant obstacles chip away at your self-esteem and your healthy personality withers, disintegrates, scatters.

Where is the best place to be homeless in the US? ›

Texas. The cities of Houston and Austin are amongst some of the best cities to be homeless, as they offer the most support to those who are down on their luck. In fact, homelessness has dropped drastically in the last ten years in the city of Houston due to their housing first policy.

What is the hardest thing about being homeless? ›

Many people experiencing homelessness often have serious mental illness, such as major depression, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia and psychosis, and issues with drug and alcohol abuse, likely to be both the cause and consequence of their condition.

What are some good questions to ask about homelessness? ›

Homelessness Questions & Answers
  • 1) What is homelessness? ...
  • 2) Different types of homelessness. ...
  • Absolute Homelessness. ...
  • Concealed Homelessness. ...
  • 4) Isn't homelessness a mental health and substance use problem? ...
  • 5) Who are people who are homeless? ...
  • 6) Does welfare prevent people from becoming homeless?

How do people view homeless people? ›

Homeless People Are Violent and Dangerous

Although many people perceive homeless people as dangerous, they are more likely to be the victims of violence. The few homeless people prone to violence often prey on others living on the street, not non-homeless people.

Does the US government give money to the homeless? ›

WASHINGTON - To help individuals and families experiencing homelessness move into permanent housing, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced $2.8 billion in Continuum of Care (CoC) Competition Awards for thousands of local homeless service and housing programs across the United States ...

How much money would it take to end homelessness in the US? ›

According to HUD, it would cost $20 Billion to end homelessness. Less than half of what is spent each year on weight loss and self-improvement. Less than half of what some spend on pets each year. Due to Covid-19, homelessness in the United States could grow as much as 45% in the next year.

What is the government doing about homelessness in America? ›

The new plan aims to reduce homelessness in the U.S. by 25% by 2025. The White House recently released a federal plan for ending homelessness in the U.S., All-In: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. The ambitious plan seeks to reduce homelessness by 25% by 2025.

How does Japan deal with homelessness? ›

Japan's strict drug laws, mental health systems and housing options contribute to the countries low homeless population.

Has any country solved homelessness? ›

Meanwhile, Finland committed to eradicating homelessness several years ago, and the statistics in that country show it's working. What is Finland's plan to eradicate homelessness? Since several years, homelessness has decreased in Finland, and the current government has a plan to end homelessness completely by 2027.

What is the main cause of homelessness? ›

Many people become homeless because they can no longer afford the rent. And for many, life events like a relationship breaking down, losing a job, mental or physical health problems, or substance misuse put people under considerable strain.

How can we fix homelessness in NYC? ›

Permanent supportive housing

Research shows permanent housing is ultimately the most cost-effective approach to addressing homelessness, even in a place like New York City, Berg said. “The public saves money by getting homeless people, particularly people with the most severe issues, off the streets and into housing.

What country has the worst homeless problem? ›

Homelessness in Syria

Syria has the world's highest homeless rate with one-third – roughly 29.6% – of the country's 22 million population being homeless. Syria continues to have the worst displacement situation in the world.

How does China deal with homelessness? ›

In mainland China, the government manages the homeless in cities in three ways: sending them back to their hometowns, providing them with temporary shelters, and driving them off.

What country banned homelessness? ›

Hungary is the only country where criminalization of homelessness is addressed in its constitution, which is seen as part of a broader illiberal governance in the country. Sleeping in a public space is illegal and violators can be fined or jailed.

How much money would it take to end homelessness in the USA? ›

According to a new assessment from researchers at two nonprofits, the total would come out to roughly $8.1 billion annually over the next 12 years. That price tag includes building more than 112,000 apartments each year.

What is the biggest driver of homelessness? ›

What Causes Homelessness?
  • When Housing is Out of Reach. More than at any other time, there is a lack of housing that low income people can afford. ...
  • Income and Housing Affordability. ...
  • Connecting Homelessness and Health. ...
  • Escaping Violence. ...
  • Impact of Racial Disparities.

What is the number one cause of homelessness in America? ›


68% of U.S. cities report that addiction is a their single largest cause of homelessness. * “Housing First” initiatives are well intentioned, but can be short-sighted.

Why are there so many homeless in USA? ›

The major causes of homelessness include: Lack of sufficient urban housing projects to provide safe, secure, and affordable housing to the financially underprivileged. Additionally for low wage workers rents can be unaffordable in areas where their workplace is located.

Why do homeless people get sick? ›

Poor nutrition can contribute to a number of chronic conditions over time, and issues like fatigue and weakness in the short term. People experiencing homelessness are often out and about for long periods of time, sometimes in ill-fitting shoes and worn-out socks. As Dr.

What is the root cause of homelessness in NYC? ›

First, New York's reportedly tight and expensive housing market may push more families into homelessness. Second, a greater than average fraction of New York residents may have characteristics (such as poverty or being single heads of households) that increase the risk of becoming homeless.

Why are there so many homeless people in NY? ›

Common ones include: mental illness, substance abuse, untreated medical issues, traumatic events, violence and abuse, lack of affordable housing and difficulty sustaining employment." The New York City Housing Authority is experiencing record demand for subsidized housing assistance.


1. LA Mayor Karen Bass discusses homeless crisis with Elex Michaelson
(FOX 11 Los Angeles)
2. Mayor Karen Bass discusses Housing Summit topics
(KCAL News)
3. Mayor Bass, city council take steps toward homelessness crisis
(KCAL News)
4. Mayor Karen Bass to deliver first State of the City Address
(FOX 11 Los Angeles)
5. Mayor Bass to sign affordable housing executive order
(FOX 11 Los Angeles)
6. Tackling the homeless crisis in Venice
(KCAL News)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Jamar Nader

Last Updated: 11/06/2023

Views: 6440

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (55 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jamar Nader

Birthday: 1995-02-28

Address: Apt. 536 6162 Reichel Greens, Port Zackaryside, CT 22682-9804

Phone: +9958384818317

Job: IT Representative

Hobby: Scrapbooking, Hiking, Hunting, Kite flying, Blacksmithing, Video gaming, Foraging

Introduction: My name is Jamar Nader, I am a fine, shiny, colorful, bright, nice, perfect, curious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.