Written by Amanda Angulo
There is an ongoing homelessness crisis going on in Los Angeles so they have turned to a very radical switch to find a solution to their homelessness: a government-funded tent encampment. This would be in the form of a vacant parking lot that will be used for tents and camps.
However, the cost of living in a tent for every homeless person will be over $2,600 per month, which is already very expensive to begin with, especially for a tent. In addition, many fear that the cost of these encampments will come at the expense of more permanent housing.
This has already begun in late April this year, in which the camp is located on a fenced-in parking lot next to the 101 freeway in East Hollywood. 70 tents have been set up in a 12-by12- foot spot that is marked on the floor. This camp has also provided port-a-potties, that are all lined up on one side of the camp, security for 24 hours of the day, and three meals a day to each camp resident. Recently, this encampment was nearly full.
According to a report by a city administrative officer, the camp will cost nearly $2,663 per participant per month, which is at a higher cost than a regular one-bedroom apartment for rent in Los Angeles. While the cost does cover services, meals, staffing, security, and sanitation, some people are concerned that the city is spending too much money on short-term solutions for long-term situations.
“If you can paint lines on a sidewalk for the same cost that you can give someone the rent for an apartment,” says Shayla Myers, an attorney with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, “I’m concerned that our city is making the choice to paint the lines rather than actually get people into housing.”