Los Angeles has declared a State of Emergency because of the Homeless People
Los Angeles has declared a state of emergency over spiraling homelessness rates, with the new mayor promising "radical change" to one of America's second-largest city's most intractable problems.
Every night, tens of thousands of people sleep on the streets in Los Angeles, an epidemic that has shocked many visitors to one of the richest urban areas on the planet.
Mental problems and drug abuse are rife among the population whose tents and rusting wagons ring the city.
Mayor Karen Bass, who was sworn in Sunday, used her first full day in office to declare a state of emergency.
"I will not accept the homelessness crisis that affects more than 40,000 people and affects every single one of us," she said.
"My mandate is to take Los Angeles in a new direction with an urgent and strategic approach to solving one of our city's most pressing challenges."
Bass, the city's first female leader, signed the declaration in a room designated as the "Joint Homeless Response Center," saying she would unlock tools and powers to "make sure we use every resource possible."
"Using the emergency order is our opportunity to speed things up," Bass said, promising a "radical change" in tactics.
In the coming days, Bass said she would sign a series of executive orders targeting homelessness, promising an aggressive approach to providing temporary housing by renting out apartments and motel rooms.
Bass, a former congresswoman, won the mayor's office in a head-to-head battle with wealthy developer Rick Caruso.
The campaign was dominated by the issue of homelessness, and Caruso hit the airwaves with promises to solve the problem.
The topic dominates civic discussions in the city, where gaunt figures beg at intersections or rage at their invisible demons as traffic circles.
Health and addiction issues are compounded in a state and city where the cost of living is high and taxes are well above the national average.
With Los Angeles set to host the 2028 Olympics, observers say city officials will be looking to remove rows of messy tents from sidewalks that stretch just meters from luxury boutiques or homes for millions.
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