LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Just a day after President Donald Trump flew into Los Angeles and criticized the city’s homeless problem, his Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Dr. Ben Carson, also made a visit to L.A.
On Wednesday morning, Carson held a forum at The Beehive, located at 950 E. 60th St., to discuss South L.A.’s affordable housing issue. It’s part of a larger California tour Carson is making to address homelessness.
He also discussed housing issues with LAPD Chief Michel Moore and said he was “encouraged” by the meeting.
Joined @SecretaryCarson today to discuss critical housing issues facing L.A.—homelessness was at the top of the agenda. Encouraged by the resilient tone of his words & commitment of support from his team as we work to address the humanitarian crisis of our generation. pic.twitter.com/KvMzRkOPlv
— Chief Michel Moore (@LAPDChiefMoore) September 18, 2019
“When the community is able to come together and produce great works, bold ambitions, recognizing that the whole is better than the sum of the parts,” Carson said.
In recent weeks, the Trump Administration has become very vocal about tackling the Southland’s homeless crisis. After arriving in L.A. Tuesday for a fundraising visit, Trump told reporters he was looking “very seriously” at creating some type of “individual task force” to address the homelessness issue.
“We can’t let Los Angeles, San Francisco and numerous other cities destroy themselves by allowing what’s happening,” the president said.
Last week, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti hosted a delegation of Trump Administration representatives who were in town to witness the problem for themselves.
In April 2018, Garcetti introduced the “Bridge Home” program, a plan to put up about two dozen temporary homeless shelters. The first in the series opened in downtown L.A. last September. The seventh such shelter, The Gardner Street Women’s Bridge Housing Center, opened in Hollywood last week. It involved re-purposing the former Hollywood library into a shelter that can house up to 30 women at a time.
Earlier this month, the Los Angeles City Parks Commission unanimously approved placing a bridge housing shelter on the southern end of Griffith Park in Los Feliz that would also house up to 100 people.
The shelters are designed to give people a safe place to stay until they can find permanent housing. Each is scheduled to remain in place for a period of three years.
All this comes as the city council is considering putting new restrictions that would limit where the homeless can sleep overnight. A proposal would restrict people from sleeping within 500 feet of schools, parks, daycare centers, homeless shelters, bicycle paths, tunnels, or bridges on school routes.