More Housing Will Not Solve LA’s Homeless Issue
I live in Downtown, only a few blocks away from Skid Row but the number of homeless growing all over our city is exponential. There is a thought that when we “solve” the residential housing problem that our issues with the homeless will just go away. We have a lot of units and time before we address our lack of housing but the homeless problem is a long systemic issue that is more than just brick and mortar. Yes, our homeless population has been worsened by the housing crisis, the jail overcrowding and transients moving here. More of an issue we are facing is the lack of mental health facilities and practitioners.
My Mother for years has worked with people who have mental disabilities in Ohio for the County. I remember going to her office and one of her patients was scared to go home because she thought her house had been invaded by monsters. My Mom had to convince her that there was nothing wrong with her house, it was all in her mind and she should take her medication.
As a parent, imagine explaining that situation. My Mom and Dad did a fantastic job of teaching my brothers and I about being strong mentally but also having empathy for those who had challenges. I see some of those people with challenges in DTLA and I am also starting to see them other parts of the city. I pray for them but the problem is increasing.
As a business person, I look at problems and develop strategies to solve the issues. It is easy to have foresight when you are dealing with numbers and spreadsheets, it is a very hard challenge when dealing with people who need help.
My perspective does give a glimpse into the future, you see patterns develop; these patterns are trends present not only in your daily life but you see them in other places too. There is an increased number of people living on the streets.
I am afraid with the cuts to the healthcare and the welfare system these people on the streets will suffer the most. When they are not in the right mind set it affects everyone both in safety and civility.
It is hard to see people living this way. Is it time we start building more healthcare facilities?
Dane Flanigan is a business consultant who helps companies build strategies to grow sales.