Homelessness crisis biggest problem in LA, city residents angry, frustrated according to Times report

A recent poll, conducted by the Los Angeles Business Council Institute in cooperation with the LA Times, reported that voters in Los Angeles wanted the government to act quickly on the homelessness crisis, even if it began with short term measures.

The poll surveyed 906 voters registered in the Los Angeles. County. Four out of 10 said that the homelessness problem in the city made them feel unsafe. They expressed empathy for homeless people but also said that were losing patience and were disappointed with the leadership of the region.

When they were asked to describe their feelings they mentioned that there was urine and feces in the streets. They said that was a rising sense of disorder and that they felt concern for their children and also considered moving out.

The poll was designed to update results from a similar poll that was conducted by the Los Angeles Business Council Institute and the Times, two years ago. The results are consistent with the earlier poll and many attitudes on homelessness seem to remain the same.

The poll showed that homelessness remained the top problem. About 94 percent of the voters said that homelessness was a serious or very serious problem. This is the same number as the last poll despite officials from the region spending millions of state and federal dollars to deal with homelessness.

When asked about the current homelessness crisis, 79 percent said that the problem had become worse than before while 13 percent said that it had remained the same. Only seven percent said that the problem had improved.

The poll did throw up one unexpected change in attitude. This change was on the tradeoff between spending money on short term term housing or to spend it on long term housing. During the recent poll conducted when participants were asked if officials needed to focus on “short-term shelter sites or they needed to focus on “long-term housing for homeless people with services” 57 percent of the respondents said that the focus should be on short-term solutions, while 30 percent said it should be long-term.

This question was worded in a similar manner to the one asked in the poll that was conducted two years, before the pandemic disrupted the world. In that poll the voters opinions were almost evenly divided between short and long term focus to solve the housing crisis.

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