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KPBS Midday Edition Segments

Trump Officials Get Look At Los Angeles Homeless Crisis

 September 11, 2019 at 10:32 AM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 The Trump administration is and has taken an interest in the Los Angeles homeless crisis this week. White House staffers and officials from various cabinet departments. We're in la touring skid row and talking to homeless activists. The Washington Post reports the administration is looking into using federal resources to get people off the streets and into shelters in federal facilities. La Officials are deeply skeptical of the Trump administration and say it could all be a publicity stunt. Meanwhile, Los Angeles is considering a controversial plan that would ban homeless people from sleeping and about 25% of the city including parks, schools, and childcare centers. California report hosts Saul Gonzalez spoke to Robert Rasilda about the proposal. He's part of a group of homeless people who live in Las Echo Park. Speaker 2: 00:50 Well, why here? First off, why may camp here? Out of all the places you can go in, ally, you've seen reasons that citizens like it here as homeless. People like it here too. It's safe. It's clean. It's nice. It's a nice place to be. I don't know if you've heard about, there's a proposal to restrict where people can camp in Los Angeles. How would that affect you? Well, that'll criminalize me again. Um, and just generally, I don't think it's necessary. I mean, we don't occupy that great area of Echo Park. We try to police it ourselves. We try to clean up after ourselves and we generally try to cooperate and be helpful to the neighbors. So if you couldn't pitch your tent in or near a park and lots of other kinds of places in la, the direct impact on your life would be what? It would be awful. It would mean that I couldn't do some of the things that I'm doing right now to get off the streets. You know what I mean? Like, like a part time work or going to some of the organizations like homeless healthcare that are helping me get off the streets. And you know, when you take away stability, you take away no opportunity. And then finally, if you were offered a place to stay, a place that was clean and livable, would you take it versus being here right now? Right now, right? Yeah. Yeah. Speaker 1: 02:08 That was Robert [inaudible] speaking with California report host Saul Gonzalez. Speaker 3: 02:16 Uh.

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The visit by a delegation from several federal agencies came about two months after the Republican president called the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles, San Francisco and other big cities disgraceful and faulted the "liberal establishment" for the problem.
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