As Homeless Line Up for Food, Los Angeles Weighs Restrictions - NYTimes.com:
by Adam Nagourney
There are now about 53,800 homeless people in Los Angeles County, according to the2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report released by the Department of Housing and Urban Development last week, a 27 percent increase over last year. Only New York had a higher homeless population.
The problem is particularly severe here because of the temperate climate that makes it easier to live outdoors, cuts in federal spending on the homeless, and a court-ordered effort by California to shrink its prison population, said Mike Arnold, the executive director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, an agency created by the city and county in 1993.
All told, about $82 million in government funds is spent each year on helping homeless here, Mr. Arnold said.
Tom LaBonge, one of the two City Council members who introduced the resolution (the other, also a Democrat, was Mitch O’Farrell), said food lines should be moved indoors, out of consideration to the homeless and neighborhoods. “There are well-intentioned people on both sides,” Mr. LaBonge said.
But, he added: “This has overwhelmed what is a residential neighborhood. When dinner is served, everybody comes and it’s kind of a free-for-all.”
Ted Landreth, the founder of the food coalition, said his group had fought back community opposition before — it moved to this corner after being ordered out of Plummer Park in West Hollywood in 1990 because of similar complaints — and would do so again.'via Blog this'