Last week, our column focused on some statistics and causes for homelessness in Los Angeles. This week, let’s take some time to look at our own neighborhood – specifically, the 25th Congressional District, which encompasses most of the Santa Clarita Valley and the Antelope Valley.
For help, I called Congressman Steve Knight’s office and was put in touch with his communications director, Megan Dutra. Megan was extremely helpful and made it clear that Steve’s office was aware of the issue and seeking answers.
The first thing that Megan shared with me was a statistics sheet from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, published July 11 this year, that has the most up-to-date stats available in the county. These stats are based on a yearly homeless count and, while provided in hard numbers, are known to be estimates.
Steve’s district is estimated to have 4,581 homeless people, 667 of which are sheltered, while 3,914 are not. That means almost 4,000 people are living in the streets, washes, alleys and underpasses of our fair congressional district.
Doubt that? Join me on a bike ride on the South Fork Trail. The underpass at McBean often has a tent or a guy sleeping on a mat. Two or three guys are often seen sitting at the top of the concrete slope under the roadway.
When I ride further up the trail into Canyon Country, I often see homeless folks congregating at the White’s Canyon and Sierra Highway underpasses. Grocery carts with scavenged recyclables are parked near the bike path. The tents of the owners can be seen in the center of the dry river bed.
Look around, folks. The homeless are here – and in large numbers.
In the Santa Clarita and…
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