La Brea Hancock resident Tammy Rosato, who serves at the Homelessness Liaison for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, recently attended an event organized by the SELAH Neighborhood Homeless Coalition. Los Angeles Homeless Authority (LAHSA) including a panel discussion on Homelessness in Los Angeles. We met with Rosato who told us about what she learned.
“LAHSA’s 2019 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count tells us that we currently have 59,000 homeless individuals in LA County (a 16% increase over last year), which includes 36,300 in the City of LA. That total includes approximately 800 – 1000 individuals who now live on our streets, alleys, and parks in the Midtown/Wilshire area,” explained Rosato.
“Solving the crisis is complicated,” said Rosato. “But it does feel like progress is being made, the problem has been decades in the making and it won’t be solved overnight; it will take time but a lot of good progress is being made.”
“If you look at LAHSA’s website and data closely you will see we have chronically homeless, people suffering from mental illness and drug and alcohol addiction, LGBT teens, other teens aging out of Foster Care, Veterans, and a growing number of Seniors who are falling in to homelessness based on rising rents which they cannot afford on social security and their fixed incomes. Affordable housing is one component and key to preventing others from falling in to homelessness for the first time, but there are many factors and challenges involved. We need more Outreach, more Services, and more Housing options at every level. I personally believe we can preserve our R1 neighborhoods and at the same time also support Bridge Housing, Supportive Housing, Transit Oriented Community Plans, Purple Line Transit Neighborhood Plans, offering a mix of luxury, middle, and low-income units,” explained Rosato.
“That said, I am extremely grateful to live in CD4 and for the leadership of Councilmember David Ryu. I believe in him and his three-step approach to addressing the homeless crisis. The crisis has been decades in the making and will take everyone at the State, County and City level to turn things around. I fully support Ryu’s efforts and development of creative solutions to address our most vulnerable neighbors. Constituents can follow his weekly newsletters and website to stay informed on his initiatives like calling for Ellis Act Reform, the Rent Relief Credit, including a recent motion to penalize landlords who hold housing units empty. Taxing the estimated 110,000 luxury vacant units, and collecting linkage fees on any new developments, will help fund much needed supportive housing. These important steps along with Measure H (County of LA) and HHH (City of LA) taxes will all help fund vital bridge and supportive housing which are key to helping solve the crisis long term. I think Ryu has opened 5 different projects, with still more in the early planning stages. I still hope our Governor and Mayor will institute some type of “crisis emergency response” and treat what’s going on Downtown and across our state more like an “earthquake disaster” so that no one is living in filth or rat infested streets one more day while waiting for more shelters, hospitals, and housing to be available,” explained Rosato.
“Most recently as the GWNC La Brea Hancock Board member, Outreach Committee and Homelessness Liaison, I updated the https://greaterwilshire.org resources tab. If a community member sees someone on a regular basis in the same general area that is homeless and needs help, you can use LA-HOP the Los Angeles Homeless Outreach Portal (www.la-hop.org) to request help. If the situation or individual is dangerous, or you are concerned about illegal activity, or if it appears to be a medical or mental health emergency, please call 911, said Rosato.
“And for encampments, I still highly recommend downloading the MyLA311 app to make a service request (you can also call 311). And if you have taken these steps and the issue has not been resolved, I recommend contacting Angie Aramayo – [email protected], she is our Central Area Representative for the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti 200 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles CA 90012. You can also contact a Field Deputy at your Council Office: https://www.lacity.org/your-government/elected-officials/city-council/map-districts,” said Rosato.
Starting in October, CARE (Cleaning And Rapid Engagement) Teams will be deployed by Council District, explained Rosato.
“The City will no longer rely solely on a case-by-case, complaint-driven model for cleanups — instead neighborhood based comprehensive Cleaning And Rapid Engagement teams will use data-driven tools to provide public health services to encampments, identify areas of highest need, and ensure the hardest-hit areas receive regularly scheduled cleanups and hygiene services,” said Rosato.
Rosato got involved five years ago because she just couldn’t walk by another homeless person without trying to be part of the solution. If you feel that way too, here is a list of some of Rosato’s favorite organizations for anyone who wants to learn more or volunteer.
https://www.alexandriahouse.org — Alexandria House is hosting a Tea and Tour on Saturday, July 20th from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Click here for a link to the presentation on LAHSA’s website.