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On Thursday, the Los Angeles Times told of a report from the City Administrative Officer titled “Homelessness and the City of Los Angeles.” Among the revelations in the report is that 15 different city agencies and departments spend more than $100 million each year on providing services to the homeless. “In July 2014,” the report says, “the Mayor pledged to end veteran homelessness by December 2015 and chronic homelessness in Los Angeles by December 2016.” As with any report from any government bureaucracy, this one says these goals will be achieved through the spending of even more money to be extracted from the taxpayer.
The report also contained recommendations, including this: “Treatment of the homeless with dignity, and clarity on their rights.”
Dignity and rights, they say. Well, sure, who isn’t for dignity and rights? But reading the report put me in mind of interactions I’ve had with some of the city’s homeless people, about whom “dignified” is not among the first thousand adjectives one would use to describe them. Here is a story about one of them: