Judge Orders LA to Provide Shelter for Everyone on Skid Row

He gives city 180-day deadline
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 20, 2021 5:53 PM CDT
Judge Orders LA to Provide Shelter for Everyone on Skid Row
A man takes food from a trash can in Los Angeles' Skid Row area, home to the nation's largest concentration of homeless people.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

A federal judge overseeing a sweeping lawsuit about homelessness in Los Angeles on Tuesday ordered the city and county to find shelter for all unhoused residents of Skid Row within 180 days and audit any spending related to the out-of-control crisis of people living on the streets. In a fiery 110-page preliminary injunction, Judge David O. Carter slammed officials' inability to restrain the unprecedented growth of homelessness that has seen encampments spread into nearly every neighborhood in the region, the AP reports. "All of the rhetoric, promises, plans, and budgeting cannot obscure the shameful reality of this crisis—that year after year, there are more homeless Angelenos, and year after year, more homeless Angelenos die on the streets," Carter wrote,

As of January 2020, there were more than 66,400 people in Los Angeles County, with 41,000 within LA city limits. While the homeless population was once largely confined to the notorious Skid Row neighborhood in downtown, rows of tents, cardboard shelters, and makeshift plywood structures are now familiar sights throughout the nation’s second-most populous city. Carter ordered the city and county to find shelter for all single women and unaccompanied children on Skid Row within 90 days and said every homeless person in the downtown area must have a place to stay by Oct. 18. The judge's order was released a day after Mayor Eric Garcetti vowed to spend nearly $1 billion in the coming year to get people off the streets. Carter ordered the money to be placed in escrow, with a spending plan "accounted for and reported to the Court within seven days."

(Read more Los Angeles stories.)

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