Editorial: A fact check on Rick Caruso’s magical thinking about L.A. homelessness
For more than a century, Los Angeles has been an open-minded city, ready to embrace its challenges. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, the city endured an exodus of thousands of people, including the largest migration of Chinese outside China.
Then came World War I: An incredible 25,000 Japanese people, forced from their homes and forced to cross a bridge in the middle of a flood, made the journey to Los Angeles to find work in the city’s growing defense industry. It was a massive migration.
Los Angeles was then torn asunder in the Great Fire of 1920 — “Los Angeles” became “Angelina,” the “City of Angels,” meaning that it was home to the original inhabitants, not its newcomers.
A long time coming, this great migration ended in the city’s 20th Century with the advent of a new wave of newcomers — Hispanics.
The great migration ended with the influx of many people with no connection to our city, fleeing violence and instability back in their countries in Central and South America, fleeing gang violence and gang violence in their own countries in Central and South America.
The violence and instability back in their countries caused the migration to Los Angeles to be ineluctable.
This is what’s happening with the new Los Angeles homeless — people who came here to join the ranks of Angelenos who were forced out of their homes without a home — and now find themselves living in car-stacked camps, in public parks, in industrial structures that are becoming more and more like prisons, and in public housing.
The truth is that LA is home to more than 8,000 homeless people. That is more than twice the number of homeless people in Houston, and more than 10 times the number in San Francisco, where the situation is more dire and