California’s Skid Row: A Tale of Failed Policies

Skid Row is a neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles. It is marked by a high percentage of homeless people who have not been able to find a home. Failed governance policies are one of the factors attributing to the effect. There have been starts, nevertheless.

The problem may not be changing for better as of now. The number of people who stay over in their vehicles or shelters on the Skid Row has increased by 12% across the year gone by. Homelessness first came by as a crisis in the 1980s.

A high number of working professionals in LA have resulted in higher rents across LA. Tenements for Angelinos have therefore undergone renovations or evictions, further accentuating the problems associated with homelessness.

Downtown Los Angeles got started with a spectacular turnaround. The dark wasteland was transforming into a lively entertainment and residential hub. This got started in the late 1990s and 2000s. There was pressure over the city to clean up the Skid Row.

In the year 2006, the broken windows campaign was unleashed by the police. Thousands of tickets were issued to the homeless for offenses ranging from Jaywalking and throwing out cigarette butts.

The streets did clear up, but the homeless, upon completing their jail term for unpaid tickets returned to the Skid Row.

The year 2006 saw the signing of the Jones Agreement. This permitted the homeless to sleep over sidewalks overnight, and the same has roots to encampment explosion as we come across in the present date.

Over recent years, LA has laid focus over the fast placement of the homeless in permanent housing. There are no preconditions, and the procedure takes place with the help of rent vouchers.

It takes months, nevertheless to qualify for the housing. In LA there is a shortage of homes for the poor. They have around 500 homeless people in the Skid Row, who have rent vouchers but no place to cash them.

Processes for construction of houses have now gathered momentum, aided by streamlining of approvals. A few of the provisions underway are parking lots wherein the homeless can sleep in their cars, mobile showers, trailer camps, motel conversions, and shelter expansions.

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