Some LA leaders are pushing for more substantial action to try to slow growing homelessness crisis


Some LA leaders are pushing for more substantial action to try to slow the growing homelessness crisis.

There were already an estimated 41,000 homeless people in LA before the pandemic hit.

Councilman Mike Bonin says it's clear the number's going up and city, state and federal officials are not doing enough.

Based on preliminary figures from the coroner, homeless deaths in LA County are up 32% this year.

That means, on average, nearly four people a day are dying.

"How much worse can it possibly get before we act? The frightening thing is it's hard to imagine it could be worse but it can be," he says.

Bonin argues the city should focus on buying hotels and renting vacant apartments to quickly add homeless housing units. And he wants to find ways to cancel rent and mortgage payments to try to keep even more people from ending up on the streets.

"The idea, I'll concede, is a jarring one to some people," he says.

Bonin compares what's happening now to the Great Depression and says, "This has to be our New Deal moment."

Doug Culp isn't looking for something that big. The 36-year-old entertainer lives in a van and has struggled to find work without a home address.

He gets by on the occasional royalty check and help from friends and family.
When KNX 1070 News reporter Claudia Peschiutta asked Culp what he needs local leaders to provide, he says 24/7 access to a bathroom and a shower

"It's not, it's not too much to ask. I'm sure there is money in the budget somewhere," Culp says.