The debate about the homeless crisis is really a debate about the nature of homelessness which, as facts have repeatedly shown, is a case of mentally ill and drug-addicted vagrants whose presence on the streets has been enabled by the homeless-industrial complex.
Despite that most of the LA mayoral candidates promise to fix the homeless problem by throwing more money at the same failed solutions. The battles between “homeless advocates”, including a radical group linked to the DSA, and the establishment trying to create more homeless housing are often predictable.
This exchange from earlier last year however remains intriguing.
For the last year, Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin de León has focused much of his energy on reducing the number of encampments in his Eastside district, working with city agencies to move people off the streets and into temporary housing or other forms of shelter.
De Leon is very much on the Left and his proposed solutions include forcing developers to build more homeless housing.
At a council meeting and in interviews, he accused activists at El Pueblo of trying to persuade unhoused people to remain on the sidewalk, where they have “no plumbing, no heat, no services whatsoever.”…
De León accused Street Watch Los Angeles, a group formed in part by the local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, of attempting to dissuade people from accepting rooms at L.A. Grand, a hotel converted into a temporary homeless shelter in response to COVID-19. Those activists, he said in an interview, also have advised people at El Pueblo not to accept rooms at Hilda L. Solis Care First Village, an interim housing facility near Union Station.
De León said that at one point last month, his staffers informed him of at least two homeless people who had been offered $20 to stay on the sidewalk at El Pueblo. One of those “bribe” offers, he said, was made last month by a person who identified himself as a representative of Street Watch.
The DSA denied the details, but admitted to the substance.
Miguel Camnitzer, an organizer with Street Watch, called the allegation of $20 bribes “patently absurd,” saying such statements should disqualify De León from becoming mayor. Street Watch organizers do not tell unhoused people to reject offers of hotel rooms or other shelter, he said.
“What’s happening is that Kevin De León staffers … are coercing people against their will into temporary shelters that are not always a good fit for them,” said Camnitzer, a writer who lives downtown. “We’re out there reminding people that unhoused people deserve self-determination over their own lives and should be able to choose what’s best for them.”
Camnitzer, the Street Watch organizer, described L.A. Grand as a “quasi-prison,” pointing out that residents have a nighttime curfew, are barred from having guests and regularly have their rooms searched.
So it’s not about housing. It never was.
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