In the first year of Mayor Karen Bass’ administration in Los Angeles, nearly 22,000 homeless individuals have been relocated off the streets, as announced on Wednesday. Bass, along with other leaders addressing the city’s homelessness crisis, marked her one-year milestone outside Larchmont Charter School in Hollywood. The area, previously occupied by a large homeless encampment, has been cleared under Bass’ Inside Safe program.
Bass emphasized the urgency of the homelessness issue and her commitment to taking immediate action rather than prolonged studies. The Inside Safe program, a collaborative effort at the local, state, and national levels, contributed to the relocation of 22,000 unhoused Angelenos, marking a 28% increase from the previous year. The 2023 homeless count by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority identified over 46,000 people experiencing homelessness in the city.
Addressing challenges in housing the homeless, Bass highlighted the need to remove barriers that hinder individuals from accessing housing. One such barrier was the requirement for individuals on the streets to prove their lack of income, a challenging task for those without a stable address or government-issued ID.
Inside Safe has successfully cleared 32 problematic encampments in the city, placing 1,951 people into interim housing. However, the transition to permanent housing has proven to be a slower process, with only a few hundred individuals making that move. Bass acknowledged the frustration surrounding this aspect but emphasized the need to reconcile with the existing backlog of individuals in interim housing before the launch of Inside Safe.
While some areas, like the former Hollywood encampment, have seen success in housing individuals and preventing the return of encampments, challenges persist. At the Cahuenga Boulevard site under the 101 Freeway, the first Inside Safe location nearly a year ago, some tents have reappeared, highlighting the ongoing complexities of addressing and preventing homelessness in the city.