According to data released by the Los Angeles' controller's office Tuesday, the city spent nearly $700,000 per unit for each of the 72 new flats built to combat the homeless crisis.
In 2020, the newly-constructed building in the trendy Koreatown, equipped with an in-house fitness center, will welcome its first inhabitants who currently live on the streets of Los Angeles.
Controller Ron Galperin commented that the project was too expensive and the local authorities should amend the initial plan thoroughly, in his opinion.
Despite the promising growth of the national economy, the West Coast and Los Angeles in particular, have been struggling with the homelessness crisis for years.
In the City of Angels, the tents are spread out on the sidewalks. Furthermore, the improvised camps are emboldened by a court ruling according to which people can live outside if they cannot find a shelter. Many of these people live in inhuman conditions and lack necessities such as toilets and running water. It makes them prone to different diseases, the health authorities said.
In order to improve sanitation, Los Angeles developed the so-called Mobile Pit Stop program to invest heavily in putting additional toilets near the encampments. According to the city council, the average annual cost per toilet is $173,930 for the permanent ones and $320,325 for the portable ones. The amounts include not only the cleaning but also constant monitoring to make sure that the toilets are not used for nefarious purposes.
San Francisco is also trying to tackle the problem. It operates a similar system for permanent and temporary toilets across 25 encampments, at an average cost about $200,000 each.
Discussing the issue, the residents are finding themselves at a crossroad. Some of them are compassionate, while others are more concerned about their own safety.
Last week, one homeless man, Austin Vincent, was caught on camera attacking a 26-year-old woman in front of her home in San Francisco. He threw her on the ground, saying that he was saving her from invading robots. Moreover, he also offered to kill another woman nearby so that he could gain her trust.
Subsequently, Vincent was arrested. The decision of the Superior Court Judge Christine Van Aken to release him sparked controversy in San Francisco which made the judge order him to wear an ankle monitor.
What do you think? Do you support or oppose the statement of the Los Angeles' controller Ron Galperin that the price of the new building for the homeless people is too high?