Homeless Growth in the Los Angeles

Ever wondered what it meant to be homeless or what a homeless person was defined as? Well before we get into detail as you could see the main topic is homeless. The law provides guidance in establishing what it means to be homeless. Until very recently, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defined as homeless “―an individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence who resides in ―supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations or ―a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings”. Throughout the busy city of Los Angeles, there are many people that wonder the streets throughout the day and the night. For an average person they wake up in the morning still laying down on a warm bed, which of course they have nice running water to shower in, as well as having clothing to keep them warm and clean throughout the day. Sadly that's not the reality for all the people who live in Los Angeles. There are many things that need to be done to change this in order to avoid having all of the problems in the streets caused by homeless people. There needs to be a few new policies in which allow for the homeless to be able to get a house and have a comfortable life.

There are many consequences that will happen if this problem of homeless keeps growing and going on. Not only will there be problems for the homeless individuals but there will also be problems for the community in which the homeless are in. The problem of homeless individuals includes poor behavioral health, bad health overall, mental illness, substance abuse, and feelings of isolation. There is a 77% chance that someone could sleep rough (Impact of Homelessness ).

Most of these people don’t get all the sleep that is necessary to function properly which leads to poor behavioral health. As a homeless person, they are more likely to suffer from Cardio-Respiratory diseases, Tuberculosis, Skin diseases, Nutritional deficiencies, Physical and sexual assault, Drug dependency, Mortality, HIV/AIDS. Homeless people have it much harder to be free of any common illness due to them living outside in extreme weather conditions, being more exposed to bad air quality, germs, and bad hygiene since they have it harder to be able to take care of themselves. “Homeless adults are disproportionately affected by psychiatric disorders, though it is difficult to estimate the true burden among this population, considering they are usually excluded from national surveys.”. There are lots of homeless people who suffer from psychiatric disorders such as Schizophrenia, Mood disorders, Personality disorders, and Anxiety disorders. This is a big reason why they are outside with no home, oftentimes their own families don’t accept them in their homes due to their mental illness. Out of all the homeless in the US twenty-three percent of them are under the age of 18. Homeless youth are especially vulnerable to the use of drugs. One study found that 55 percent of street youth and 34 percent of shelter youth have used illegal drugs since leaving their homes compared to the 13 percent of youth who have never been homeless. The homeless especially the younger people are more exposed to the use of drugs. They often use drugs because they want to forget about all their problems and eventually get addicted to them. They believe that taking the drugs will make their problems go away but in reality, they just get worse. There is a big feeling of isolation because oftentimes they are alone and nobody wants to talk to them. This is another reason they seek into taking drugs or alcohol. The feeling of isolation also leads them to lose self-esteem and to lose the ability and the will to take care of themselves. The consequences that homeless people have on a community are that there is usually more crime and less safety around that community. There are generally more problems around homeless people because they are under the influence of different substances and this causes them to act in an inappropriate way.

The stakeholders in this are the National Alliance to End Homelessness. “The Alliance believes that ending homelessness requires effective policy development and implementation at the federal, state, and local levels. The Alliance uses data and research, and deep familiarity with the way programs work on the ground around the country, to determine what policies will have the greatest impact for the amount of time, money, and effort invested”. The winners of this policy are obviously the homeless because they will be provided with a home to be able to live much more comfortably. People might often think that this policy will affect the community that is around the homeless shelter because they are often seen as always bringing more crime and chaos to the community.

The reason why the current policy is ineffective is because they don’t have a program in which they check over the homeless to make sure that they aren’t doing any drugs or consuming alcohol. “This approach is guided by the belief that people need basic necessities like food and a place to live before attending to anything less critical, such as getting a job, budgeting properly, or attending to substance use issues”. There is no service included to help the homeless overcome any problems they have such as mental illness, health issues, and substance abuse. The main priority of these programs is to get the homeless people out of the streets and this is not the way to go they need more than just a roof. “Homeless people need services to help them leave behind the isolation of life on the streets, get housed and stay housed”. About 75 percent of many unsheltered people in the United States have struggled with substance abuse disorders. Giving them a roof over their head without expecting them to first solve the problems for why they are homeless is a bad idea. “Secretary Carson has a unique opportunity to lead the nation in solving the growing homelessness crisis. His first step should be reforming HUD’s Housing First policy and embracing innovative programs that put people first by expecting more of them than mere survival.”. They need to have services which provide them with different options to find jobs or to get an education while maintaining them sober.

The policy that is being proposed is helping out the homeless by providing them with help such as food and housing also with setting up or putting rules upon them as well with putting services for them. An example on helping the homeless would be by providing housing such as an apartment or shelter home, food such as canned food or any sealed food, and last one but not least to help them out with looking for a job such as applying anywhere where there is an opening. Some rules that can be given are for example doing drug tests on them as well with alcohol screening, giving a curfew or certain hours to be out on the streets so that they don’t fall under bad steps again would be another rule that can be given.

The proposed policy for the homeless that we came up with was first of all checking that they are free from any diseases, free of any drugs/alcohol in there system, and running a background check. Based on these we will decide where the homeless person is best to be placed or with who to be around. If they have diseases they will need to be sent to the clinic to be checked or to the hospital depending on how severe the illness is. After that they will be tested to check for drugs or alcohol in there system by doing a blood and urine test. Those of them that fail the test, they will be given a chance to stay at the shelter but will have to sign a contract in which they agree to go into rehab if they fail any other drug or alcohol checks. There will be checks every 3 weeks or at random if someone is acting suspiciously. Those who refuse to be checked will be given a second chance and will be on probation and if they do it constantly and decided to not comply they will have to go into rehab in order for them to be part of the program and organization.

The background check will also be given at the beginning before letting them stay in the shelter. Each homeless person will be identified and submitted inside the shelter by their fingerprints and name. Each person will have their own personal profile which will include any important information and of course a picture so that no file gets mistaken with another person. Those who have a criminal history in their background check will be monitored closely and show that they have changed by not causing any problems at the shelter. If they fail to proceed by the rules they will have to be kept at a special place in which they will be given therapy by therapists to make them not act in bad behavior and this will help them out with better behavior as well with tempor. As soon as they get back to their normal behavior with the help of therapy they will be sent back to the shelter.

The reason why we support this policy on helping out the homeless is because many of them are in need of lots of help. One of the reasons we support this policy is due to the cold and stormy weather that is just around the corner. The main reason why it is better than the existing policy is because they don’t have services such as checking up on them, providing them with food, providing them with clothing, offering a clinical physical, providing hygiene kits, and helping them look for jobs. Checking up on them will make them feel comfortable and protected. They won’t feel lonely because they won’t be alone anymore they will be accompanied by other people. Providing them with food will make them better in health because they will be eating more since they wouldn’t eat when they were out in the streets as a homeless person. Many of them would starve which would cause health issues. Providing them with clothing can help prevent from getting infections since the clothing will be clean. Offering a clinical physical is the main part since many tests will be done and if there is a certain illness or infection medication will be given to cure the problem. Some hygiene kits that can be provided are Oral hygiene sets, Feminine hygiene sets, Bathing products, Towel-set, Hair items, and Personal care products. The Oral hygiene set will include toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss, and mouthwash. The Feminine hygiene set will include feminine wash as well as personal feminine products. The Bathing products will have body wash and soap, shampoo, lotion, and moisturizer. The Towel set will include many towel products. Hair items will include all hair products such as a comb or hairbrush, shaving cream, razor, aftershave, and rubber bands. And the Personal care products contain a mildly scented cologne, deodorant roll-ons or spray kind, nail clippers, and cotton swabs. All of these would be the hygiene kits that will be provided. Helping them apply and look for jobs will be a big step not only because they will be earning money but because they will be able to save up enough until they can afford enough for transitional housing such as HUD or Section 8. Once they are in the transitional housing they will still be part of the program and have to come in to be checked and see how they are doing. When they are financially stable the organization will help them look for a better house which can actually be of their own. There also needs to be more money going into the issue of homelessness. “A federal court also ruled last year that cities cannot punish homeless people who sleep in public spaces if they can’t provide sufficient, accessible shelter space for their homeless population”. This shows that the programs don’t have enough money to make enough shelters and are also not doing their services right. Homeless people can’t be staying at the shelters forever they need to check up on them and make sure that they are looking for jobs and earning money in order to get out of the shelter and go into transitional housing.

Works Cited

  1. Affordable Housing. Grey House Publishing, 2019.
  2. “Impact of Homelessness.” Homeless Link,
  3. www.homeless.org.uk/facts/understanding-homelessness/impact-of-homelessness#:~:targ
  4. On individuals,get back on your feet.
  5. Padgett, Deborah, et al. Housing First: Ending Homelessness, Transforming Systems, and
  6. Changing Lives. Oxford University Press, 2016.
  7. Jencks, Christopher. The Homeless. Harvard University Press, 1994.
  8. Cadei, Emily, and Michael Wilner. “Trump Sees 'Liberal Policies' Fueling California HomelessCrisis. What Can He Do about It?” Sacbee, The Sacramento Bee, 16 Sept. 2019,
  9. Savoie, Louise “Homeless People Need Good Hygiene.” SapiBon Foundation, Inc., SapiBon Foundation, Inc., 22 Oct. 2018, www.sapibonfoundation.org/homeless-people-need-good-hygiene.
  10. HUD, 2010, www.hud.gov/sites/documents/13-15PIHN.PDF.
  11. McInnes, Keith. “Homelessness, Its Consequences, and Its Causes: SPH: Boston University.” School of Public Health, www.bu.edu/sph/2016/02/28/homelessness-its-consequences-and-its-causes/.
  12. “Policy Activities.” National Alliance to End Homelessness, endhomelessness.org/ending-homelessness/what-we-do/policyimpact/.
  13. “Housing First.” National Alliance to End Homelessness, endhomelessness.org/resource/housing-first/.
  14. “Endorsement: Homeless People Don't Just Need Housing – They Need Services to Get and Stay Housed. Vote Yes on Measure H.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 18 Feb. 2017, www.latimes.com/opinion/endorsements/la-ed-measure-h-20170218-story.html.
29 April 2022
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