NPR did a story and interview with the Los Angeles Mayor accepting children fleeing violence in Central America. This is something that we have to do as a society. We must step up to help these children fleeing violence and exploitation, but Los Angeles seems like the last place to offer help. This is a country of immigrants and just as we proclaim on the Statue of Liberty, we need to comfort the huddled masses yearning to break free. We have an obligation to assist these citizens of countries we have destabilized and sent our gangsters and drug dealers back to their birth country to wreak havoc. But Los Angeles?
Los Angeles has an out of control homeless population with a section of the city called "Skid Row" with thousands of people living outside. LA has the highest concentration of homeless people on any square mile in America. They operate the largest mental health facility in the Country that is known as their County Jail. They do not have guaranteed access to shelter for their own citizens so they know nothing about serving homeless people. Why Los Angeles? Why not Denver or St. Paul or even Cleveland who are doing a way better job in serving homeless people? Even Iowa, Seattle or Charlotte would be better than the city with the largest homeless population in the United States.
Los Angeles is also the city of origin for many of these gang leaders who were deported back to their country of birth. These gang leaders long to get back to LA and they learned all their skills at running a criminal enterprise on the mean streets of LA. The city of Los Angeles has too many people in need of help right now; they do not have the capacity to care for all the people in need currently in the city. Any visitor to Los Angeles will come away with the impression that homelessness is out of control in America. There have to be other places that have a deeply held religious beliefs that we all must help children in need. The Mayor of LA gave a good spin about working on veteran's homelessness and then he said his city will focus on long term homelesss. But when will he get around to helping homeless children living in his city, and then why bring in more homeless kids when they have no plan to serve their exisiting population? Here is what the Mayor told NPR:
The challenge is to end veterans' homelessness by the end of 2015. And next after that, I'll be looking at the chronic homeless population, which we've already made some dents in. I'm looking to the state and federal government, which have cut our housing dollars in recent years, to re-up those as well as for us to locally generate a consistent source of funding to build permanent, supportive housing that won't just get people off the street, but give them the services that they need to stay in those apartments and to stay permanently in housing and to get employed. So we're looking at this in a holistic way so we don't throw money at a problem and people wind up back on the street.
There are passionate caring people in Nebraska, Michigan and Maine who would be willing to help. Don't send kids to a city that already has decades of bad public policy that has led to a crisis in affordable housing and homelessness.
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