The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Los Angeles:
Rising Homelessness

May 25, 2015

The number of homeless people has increased by 12 per cent in L.A. County within the last two years, reaching nearly 45,000.

A report by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) shows that homelessness has risen in every part of the county.

Some policies, such as gentrification, make the problem worse by removing inexpensive hotel rooms and single-room apartments in order to increase the number of luxury lofts or shopping areas. And local authorities do the dirty work for the wealthy new residents and the corporations that profit from the gentrification.

In downtown L.A., for example, 1,500 cops daily patrol the skid row, to rough up, ticket and arrest homeless people on the sidewalks. This heavy-handed policy of harassment has led to some police shootings of homeless people recently: Charly Keunang on skid row and Brendon K. Glenn in another area that has been undergoing significant gentrification.

The L.A. Times reports more than 4,300 vets are considered homeless in L.A. County. Yet almost no lower-priced housing units have been built in an area undergoing an orgy of construction. The homeless authorities reported that the number of tents, makeshift shelters and vehicles serving as homes increased by a whopping 85 per cent in the past two years.

Homelessness is one aspect of the misery into which capitalism has been pushing the whole working class