Trump administration planning to put homeless people in government facilities

‘Simply cracking down on homelessness without providing the housing that people need is not a real solution,’ says San Francisco mayor

Zamira Rahim
Wednesday 11 September 2019 09:26
Many homeless people in Los Angeles live in makeshift tent camps
Many homeless people in Los Angeles live in makeshift tent camps

Donald Trump is considering housing homeless people in government facilities, according to a new report.

Members of the Trump administration visited Los Angeles on Tuesday to study the city’s homelessness crisis.

Around 36,000 people live in makeshift camps on the streets of the city, while 59,000 people are homeless in Los Angeles county, according to The LA Times.

Officials are considering a plan to raze the existing camps and house the homeless population in government facilities, according to The Washington Post.

The current proposal is a fluid one and it is unclear if the White House has the legal authority to open such centres.

The proposal would see the federal government taking a greater role in overseeing housing and healthcare for facility residents.

Administration officials made the Los Angeles trip two months after the president blamed the “liberal establishment” for homelessness in cities including Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The Los Angeles mayor’s office said the federal group visited several housing projects, including a recently opened shelter.

Mr Trump has repeatedly insulted the leaders of California, a heavily Democratic state.

Eric Garcetti, the Democratic mayor of Los Angeles, issued a public invitation to the president to walk the city’s streets with him and discuss the homelessness crisis.

State officials are eager to receive federal funding to help provide more housing and improved services.

Despite this it remains unclear if the White House can overcome deep political divisions with California authorities to work on the issue.

Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, said on Tuesday that the state was ready to discuss serious proposals.

He added that the president “could start by ending his plans to cut food stamps, gut health care for low-income people and scare immigrant families from accessing government services.”

London Breed, the mayor of San Francisco, struck a similar tone.

Mr Breed said his city would welcome federal assistance “but simply cracking down on homelessness without providing the housing that people need is not a real solution.”

“The president has taken notice of the homelessness crisis particularly in cities and states where the liberal policies of overregulation, excessive taxation, and poor public service delivery are combining to dramatically increase poverty and public health risks,” a White House spokesperson said.

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