Homelessness in Los Angeles: “Top Concern”

It’s not traffic. It’s not crime. A recent poll indicates that addressing homelessness in Los Angeles is more important than ever.

The poll taken by the United Way and reported in L.A. Weekly shows homelessness is a “top concern.” In the survey 19% of 600 respondents said homelessness or poverty was the most important issue facing the city. Only 12% listed crime and police, and 11% said transportation and parking.

It seems the desire to address this issue is growing right along with the city’s rates of homelessness. According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services authority, homelessness in Los Angeles County increased 5.7%, jumping from 44,359 in 2015 to 46,874 in 2016.

In addition, there has been a 20% increase in the most visible forms of homelessness in the LA Continuum of Care, including in encampments, tents, and vehicles.

Solutions needed

Right now debates continue about the city’s plans to fight this epidemic. County officials have been lobbying for a “Millionaire’s Tax” to pay for programs to address homelessness, while the governor is opposing calls to declare a state of emergency.

Meanwhile, thousands of people are suffering on the streets and on Skid Row. Housing is lacking and so are the resources available to address what are often the root causes of homelessness: Substance abuse, mental health issues, addiction, poverty, and lack of job skills.

With an issue so great – ranking more significant and important to residents of Los Angeles than crime or transportation – it’s imperative that the city finds solutions to this growing crisis.

We’re in this together

Homelessness is something that can happen to our families, our friends, and our neighbors. In my volunteer work at the Los Angeles Mission, I see people striving every day to improve their lives and return to gainful employment, stable housing, and opportunities to contribute again to society. I also see people committed to helping these individuals in any way they can.

Big Change for homelessness

This growing epidemic is a top concern for Big Change Advisors as well, and we too seek opportunities to effect change.

Our work is three-fold. One, through our philanthropic business model, Big Change Advisors donates a percentage of our profits to help address homelessness. Our clients can designate a percentage of their fees to go directly to the Los Angeles Mission, one of the nation’s largest service providers to the homeless.

This means that companies looking to meet their business goals through mergers, acquisitions, re-sizing, or capital investors, can also meet their goals for philanthropy, corporate responsibility, and serving their communities.

Second, we work hands-on at the mission to provide career services, assistance with resume preparation, and training on how to interview for jobs and keep them.

Third, we continually explore the issue of homeless and what’s needed to alleviate and eliminate it. From there, we share our insights and raise awareness about the issue through our corporate communications and regular blog posts, including:

  • Build It and They May Not Come: Doing Housing Right for L.A.’s Homeless
  • 3 Essential Elements of L.A.’s Plan to Address Homelessness
  • Big Sweeps Don’t Sweep Away Issues with Homelessness
  • Boots on the Ground Help Homeless in Los Angeles

Addressing homelessness in Los Angeles is an issue that is close to us and important to us – a top concern that has framed our business model since our inception. Stay tuned for ongoing updates and perspectives.