L.A. County's Department of Health released a report on Friday showing that the number of deaths among homeless people increased by 56 percent in the first year of the epidemic, and tallied a staggering 1,988 deaths. COVID wasn't the primary reason for the increase; it was the result of drug overdoses.
Los Angeles has seen a massive increase in homelessness in recent years, with the number rising by 50 percent from 2015 to 2020, for a total of 66,436. Tents clog the streets and decrepit RVs are aplenty under overpasses.
The most crowded areas are downtown in the tent cities that are a mile long in a dystopian landscape which makes it almost impossible to access local establishments.
The findings of this report are a clear indication of the urgent situation. In a democratic society, it is inconceivable for us to not be deeply disturbed by the alarming needs outlined in the report on homeless deaths for this year.
Overdoses of drugs were the largest factor in the death toll as per the report, methamphetamine as well as fentanyl were the main culprits. Heart diseases were the second-highest cause of death, whereas COVID was the third leading cause of death, with a total of 179. Then, deaths that are caused by suicide, homicide, traffic accidents, as well as “other unintentional causes” -when combined, total 375 — more than COVID's. It's obvious that the COVID threat is not as significant as the risk of living on the streets.
As if it couldn't get worse for the Angelenos, the UCLA “Quality of Life Index” released on Friday showed the lowest satisfaction level since the study began just seven years ago. The high cost of living, homelessness, as well as rising crime and health concerns were among the top issues.
The survey was administered through the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. L.A. County scored 53 out of 100 points, which is the first time that the county's score has been below the median of 55.
In the meantime, it is reported that Dr. Barbara Ferrer chose last week to reinstate an obligation to cover all public transport. Thanks, Barbara!
Los Angeles certainly isn't the only American city that has homeless problems. Just ask San Francisco, Seattle, New York City, even Honolulu. (Wouldn't have imagined that.)
The RedState's Jennifer Oliver O'Connell has been looking into the causes of homelessness as well as solutions. It's no secret that she's not a Gavin Newsom fan.
The main reason for this is addiction. However, they often claim that the problem of the homeless is due to affordable housing, but it's evident that addiction is the main cause.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the dead and their loved ones, and we are grieving for those who are suffering through difficult times. We must, however, address the issue that has made our cities almost invisible. We must be able to hold our leaders accountable and the only method to do that is to go to the polls.