By David Zahniser, Ruben Vives, Doug Smith
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass had been in office for little more than week when she announced the launch of Inside Safe, her signature program to move homeless Angelenos out of the city’s biggest encampments and under a roof.
The first place she went was a noisy stretch of Cahuenga Boulevard under the 101 Freeway in Hollywood. Working closely with Councilmember Nithya Raman, city and county agencies found beds for about 30 unhoused residents living at or near the overpass.
Last week, the mayor celebrated her first year in office, touting the work her administration has done to address the crisis. By then, 10 more people had set up tents, tarps and at least one cardboard structure on the streets around the overpass that had been targeted by Inside Safe in December 2022.
The return of those encampments offers just one example of the challenges the mayor will face in the second year of her fight against homelessness.
Since taking office, Inside Safe has moved 1,951 people off sidewalks, median strips and alleys in such areas as Echo Park, North Hollywood, Westlake, Van Nuys and South Los Angeles, according to figures compiled by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority covering the period that ended Nov. 30.
At the same time, Bass has struggled to accomplish the crucial next step: moving those same people out of hotels and motels and into actual homes. Just 256 people, or 13% of the people who participated in Inside Safe, were in permanent housing during the time frame examined by LAHSA.
Source: L.A. Times