Homelessness crisis: Garcetti says solution will take time, but progress is beginning

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- More and more sidewalks in LA are becoming homes for the homeless.

The tents and tarps and other assorted shelters continue to pop up despite Proposition HHH, the city's billion-dollar homeless bond.

"I think people know how complicated this issue is," Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a recent appearance on Eyewitness Newsmakers. "From the beginning I said I want to take responsibility for this issue because I feel so deeply about it, but anyone who thinks it can be solved overnight, of course that's not what the fight over homelessness is about."

It's been nearly a week since the mayor issued an open letter to residents saying he takes responsibility for the city's response to the homelessness problem.

The latest count shows homeless numbers in the city are up 16% over last year.

Back in 2016 voters passed Prop. HHH - pitched as a way to get people off the street.

"I think everybody appreciates you build a house or apartment building, it takes probably two to three years, so this year you'll see the beginning of those 107 projects opening," Garcetti said. "There's about 7,000 units of housing that are due to come online that are fully funded, under construction and or about to open."

Garcetti says homelessness is not exclusive to Los Angeles, but is instead a statewide problem. And even though L.A.'s homeless population is growing, it's at a slower rate than all of California.

He says the state of California saw a 35% increase, while the city saw a hike of 15% and the county saw 12%.

There are an estimated 130,000 homeless statewide. Historically that figure is second only to the rate in 1906, when the Great San Francisco Earthquake left 200,000 people without homes.
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