Homelessness in Los Angeles—Part Two: from Safer City to Home for Good

With over 40,000 homeless living on its streets, Los Angeles is the homeless capital of the country. Over the past decade, cities like Denver, New York and San Francisco have all dramatically reduced their homeless populations by building permanent housing. But here, homelessness has grown faster than the national rate and not enough housing has been built, in part because of discordant county and city governments. Why is it so difficult for disparate systems to work together in Los Angeles County and how can that stalemate be overcome? Patt asks those questions and more to city and county officials, service providers, residents and homeless in the Skid Row community. Together, they a look at new proposals such as the Home for Good plan, which combines the social service knowledge of nonprofit sector with the private business and aims to end homelessness with permanent housing by 2016. With so many plans proposed and failed, what if anything sets this ambitious model apart from the rest? And why has homelessness proven to be such a singularly intractable issue for Los Angeles while it has motivated so many other regions to act?

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