Downtown boosters get a reality check (as does Police Chief Bratton, who just announced he's seeking a second five-year term): the LAPD census conducted yesterday showed the first major increase in months in homeless people camping in downtown. A few months ago, the LAPD, which conducts counts every two weeks, counted 700 homeless people; now that figure is up to 920. (Other estimates have put the population as high as 10,000.)
The increase follows the closure of LA's winter shelters, Carol Sobel, an attorney for homeless plaintiffs, tells the Times. "It is because winter shelters closed March 15. They are some 2,000 fewer beds. Now, this isn't rocket science," said Sobel. "The people aren't just evaporating. They just go somewhere else and then come back." Indeed, shelters outside of downtown reported a rise in homeless people following the police crack-down in downtown LA, reports that Times.
· Homelessness Rises in Downtown Los Angeles [LA Times]
· Los Angeles police chief to seek second term [San Diego Tribune]