Homeless advocate says LA's housing plans are Inadequate

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Reverend Andy Bales, CEO of the Union Rescue Mission, says Los Angeles' housing plans will only put a roof over 25 percent of the population.

Speaking on Eyewitness Newsmakers, Bales advocated for pop-up shelters like the one being built on a parking lot behind his shelter on Skid Row. It will house 120 single women year-round and will cost a fraction of the price the city is paying for bridge housing. Voter-approved tax money aims to build 10,000 units in 10 years. Eight projects are underway but none has opened yet.

The most recent homeless count is 53,000 county-wide. The count is conducted annually by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, relying on volunteers.

Peter Lynn, LAHSA executive director, explained they need 8,500 volunteers for the census, which will be conducted over three days from Jan. 22-25. It's required by the federal Housing and Urban Development Department. There is a Homeless Count website for more information about volunteering.

More homeless have died in 2018 than the year before. The county coroner's preliminary total is 899. Most unsheltered people died when medical treatment was too late for undiagnosed illnesses like pneumonia and cirrhosis of the liver.

The Union Rescue Mission is one of the nation's largest and it is the city's oldest. For more information, click here: Union Rescue Mission.
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