Below the Fold - controversy continues in LA

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WELLNESS CHECK
This edition leans...
Hey Below the Fold fam,

Earlier this year, we explored America’s continued rise in homelessness. The story then focused on the cost of tent cities across the U.S.. Today we’re diving deeper into what’s happening in Los Angeles while drawing hope from successful solutions abroad.

We’ll admit this was a slightly more difficult story for us to research and piece together, especially since LA has experienced a number of failed initiatives to fix its growing homeless population. It’s a big problem with both economic and regulatory complications, but what we found at home and abroad gives us hope.
TODAY'S STORY
Unhoused Los Angeles residents have hardly anywhere left to live
Mon Aug 23

After years of neglect, Los Angeles has begun addressing its growing homeless population during the pandemic — but not in the way advocates hoped. Controversy first erupted in April when police forcibly removed a large encampment along Echo Park Lake. Months later the city began clearing Venice Beach, an area famous for its unhoused residents. These residents were promised shelter but instead faced a new law that researchers are now finding is nearly impossible to abide by.

Signed last month, the anti-camping ordinance bans unhoused residents from sitting, lying, or sleeping in (basically) any public space, including varying distances from underpasses, bridges, tunnels, schools, libraries, daycares, parks, driveways, exits, entrances, and even homeless shelters. Researchers can’t even map where the unhoused can exist with all these restrictions.


So what can be done? Earlier this month, LA City Council approved the building of 25,000 public housing units for the homeless by 2025, though a short-term solution is still needed for those affected by the latest ban. There’s hope in a new program called Street Engagement Strategy, which advocates want tested and launched before the anti-camping ordinance takes effect. Overall, increasing the supply of housing is a priority not only for the current homeless population, but the growing number of those at risk of becoming unhoused.

Looking around the world, there’s a lot to learn from:
  • Within the U.S., both Atlanta and Houston have more than halved their homeless populations over the past decade — even with rising rent — by investing public and private dollars into a variety of housing options. In Atlanta, one of the more innovative solutions pairs a supportive host-family with homeless LGBTQ young adults.
  • Turn to Europe and Finland’s homeless population has dropped from 18,000 to ~2,000, thanks to unconditional free housing for the homeless. Many of the buildings include large communal areas for cooking, entertainment, or socializing to promote community. As a result, the country has saved $18,500 per homeless person per year.

🎬 Take Action

Many cities, including LA, are citing the need for hydration for homeless populations suffering from extreme heat across the globe. Consider keeping extra water bottles handy to pass out to unhoused residents you come across.
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RESOURCE CENTER

Vice:
(Where we found this story)
1 week old | 6 minutes long
CalMatters:
Atlanta & Houston’s success
June 2020 | 35 minutes long
California Globe:
LA to add 25,000 public housing units
19 days ago | 7 minutes long
How Finland basically ended homelessness
3 years old | 11 minutes long
LA Times:
Buying luxury properties as affordable housing
1 week ago | 9 minutes long
Street Engagement Strategy and its status
4 days ago | 6 minutes long

 

ICYMI (AGAIN)

  • Friday: Can teaching students civic participation unite America?
  • Thursday: Apple's new tool against child exploitation
  • Wednesday: Rapid boom in houseplants come with some risks
CLASSIFIEDS
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Thousands have already registered, gearing up to meet and connect with leaders, executives, and creators in media, tech, advocacy, philanthropy, and social impact through action-oriented workshops, panels, and discussions.

And talk about an epic speaker lineup, featuring current and former leaders from:
  • Major companies like Oprah Magazine, Latino Community Foundation, Variety
  • Investors from Reach Capital, Republic, Zane Ventures, 2045 Ventures
  • Community orgs like Hispanic Heritage Foundation, Techqueria and more
  • Award-winning authors and journalists like Alicia Menéndez & Julissa Arce
If you’re ready to build meaningful relationships and soak in all this content, tickets are on us! Register today to join all the fun this September.
>> Get Your Free Tickets
ASCII-ING ABOUT THE NEWS
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~~~~~~~  ~~~~~ ~~~~~  ~~~ ~~~  ~~~~~
  ~~~   ~~~~~   ~!~~   ~~ ~  ~ ~ ~pjb

If we can’t stay on Venice Beach, where can we go?
Keep palm and carry on!
No but really, where?

Art Credit: ASCII.CO.UK
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