One Person Can Make Things Better

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One Person Can Make Things Better

by baldilocks

Sit­ting in for Fausta.

A friend sent me this LA Times link from 2016.

Esca­lat­ing their bat­tle to stamp out an unprece­dented spread of street encamp­ments, city offi­cials have begun seiz­ing tiny houses from home­less peo­ple in South Los Angeles.

Elvis Sum­mers, who built and donated the struc­tures, removed seven of the gaily painted wooden houses — which come with solar-​powered lights and Amer­i­can flags — on Wednes­day and Thurs­day ahead of a sched­uled city sweep.

Sum­mers, an L.A. res­i­dent who says he was once home­less, had placed them within encamp­ments on over­passes along the 110 Free­way, for home­less peo­ple to use instead of tents.

But three struc­tures impounded ear­lier this month remain in a city stor­age lot, a Bureau of San­i­ta­tion spokes­woman said, and the city noti­fied occu­pants they would be “discarded.” (…)

Coun­cil­man Cur­ren Price, who rep­re­sents the neigh­bor­hood, said the houses pose seri­ous health and safety risks.

I’m get­ting com­plaints from con­stituents who have to walk in to the streets to avoid them,” Price said.

Author­i­ties destroyed nee­dles, drug setups and a gun seized from one or more of the houses and tents dur­ing an ear­lier cleanup.

I don’t know what the ulti­mate solu­tion to this prob­lem should be. I do know, from my own expe­ri­ence in home­less­ness – I was never on the street — is that many peo­ple who are on-​the-​street are there because they are alco­holics and/​or addicts who are unwill­ing to go with­out their given sub­stance. This pre­cludes them liv­ing in struc­tures pro­vided by LA County for the home­less. The County offers free detox as well. But a poten­tial cus­tomer must want to be free.

Thing is, isn’t it bet­ter for all con­cerned for an on-​the-​street home­less per­son to live in a solid struc­ture rather than in a tent or a makeshift tarp shack?

It seems to me that Elvis Sum­mers under­stands his lim­i­ta­tions. He can­not solve such a huge prob­lem but can only improve the sit­u­a­tion in small steps using his own per­sonal skills. Would that we all thought like that.

And leave it to gov­ern­ment to hin­der it.

I’m going to search for a more up-​to-​date report on this and I may update.

(Thanks to Jason Minks.)

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng has been blog­ging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here. She pub­lished her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-​GoDaddy host!

Or hit Juliette’s!

by baldilocks

Sitting in for Fausta.

A friend sent me this LA Times link from 2016.

Escalating their battle to stamp out an unprecedented spread of street encampments, city officials have begun seizing tiny houses from homeless people in South Los Angeles.

Elvis Summers, who built and donated the structures, removed seven of the gaily painted wooden houses — which come with solar-powered lights and American flags — on Wednesday and Thursday ahead of a scheduled city sweep.

Summers, an L.A. resident who says he was once homeless, had placed them within encampments on overpasses along the 110 Freeway, for homeless people to use instead of tents.

But three structures impounded earlier this month remain in a city storage lot, a Bureau of Sanitation spokeswoman said, and the city notified occupants they would be “discarded.” (…)

Councilman Curren Price, who represents the neighborhood, said the houses pose serious health and safety risks.

“I’m getting complaints from constituents who have to walk in to the streets to avoid them,” Price said.

Authorities destroyed needles, drug setups and a gun seized from one or more of the houses and tents during an earlier cleanup.

I don’t know what the ultimate solution to this problem should be. I do know, from my own experience in homelessness – I was never on the street — is that many people who are on-the-street are there because they are alcoholics and/or addicts who are unwilling to go without their given substance. This precludes them living in structures provided by LA County for the homeless. The County offers free detox as well. But a potential customer must want to be free.

Thing is, isn’t it better for all concerned for an on-the-street homeless person to live in a solid structure rather than in a tent or a makeshift tarp shack?

It seems to me that Elvis Summers understands his limitations. He cannot solve such a huge problem but can only improve the situation in small steps using his own personal skills. Would that we all thought like that.

And leave it to government to hinder it.

I’m going to search for a more up-to-date report on this and I may update.

(Thanks to Jason Minks.)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-GoDaddy host!

Or hit Juliette’s!