Representatives of Trump's administration visited Los Angeles this week to learn more about the homeless crisis, a White House official confirms.
Trump's team reportedly showed interest in the shortage of affordable housing and looked into the options to intervene and lift regulations for development.
One of the avenues for addressing the issue the Washington representatives explored, was to clear out encampments and to move homeless people into government-run facilities. According to sources familiar with the matter, that is a fluid proposal, and it is not clear whether Washington has the legal authority to open such centers.
The local officials and homelessness experts did not welcome the move saying that the federal housing cuts have contributed to the worsening of the problem. Some of the elected officials went further to accuse Trump of using the homelessness crisis to win over the conservative supporters ahead of the 2020 elections.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed commented that the Golden State needs federal support and resources to build more housing for the people without a roof. In his opinion, just cracking down on the issue without providing the housing people need is arguably a solution.
The Democratic governor of California and a long-time Trump's opponent, Gavin Newsom expressed his willingness to discuss such a severe issue with Washington.
Newsom also added that the President could intervene by ending his plans to cut food stamps, gut health-care for low-income residents and scare immigrants from seeking government services.
Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) was even more straightforward. He advised the President to focus on his ''own mess in the administration'' and to back off from California. He also pointed out that rounding up homeless people in federal facilities would not solve the problem. The state should provide them with shelter, housing, and other government services, Wiener added.
Almost a quarter of the nation's homeless residents live in California. According to a recent count, Los Angeles saw a 12% increase in homeless residents from 2018 to 2019. The number of homeless residents in San Francisco went up 43% since 2017.
During a rally in Ohio last month, President Trump criticized the local authorities in California over the issue. He stated that nearly half of all the homeless people in America live in the state of California. Trump indirectly blamed the Democratic leadership for the situation saying that what they did to ''our beautiful California'' was a disgrace.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with the San Francisco officials who recommends Trump to back off and not intervene in the homeless crisis?