where is the state? la homeless house themselves

March 24, 2020
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COVID-19 has exposed many deep issues with the way the United States is run. At the moment homeless families in Los Angeles are doing what the government won’t and housing themselves. They have taken to occupying vacant homes around California for they are dealing not only with the ongoing pandemic but in addition the years-long affordable housing crisis. They have created an initiative called “Reclaiming Our Homes” and its mission states that no one should be homeless as long as there are vacant homes available because housing is a human right. Depressingly, this is something not already obvious to the state.

As reported by the LA Times, in response to the lack of action implemented by government officials, homeless and housing insecure families moved into homes in El Sereno this past Wednesday in order to protect themselves during this pandemic. The actions continued on Saturday when two families and a man moved into one unoccupied home owned by the state. So far, these protestors have taken over 12 homes with plans to remain. 

This deserving and brave group demands action by both local and state government to do their job and protect them! This week the first homeless person in California (a state with one-quarter of the nation’s homeless population) was reported to have passed away from COVID-19 in Northern California. It is important to understand how the homeless population is being hurt by this pandemic beyond being forced to remain outside, with public spaces shutting down they have  lost places to keep their hygiene up. 

Let us all continue to monitor this situation and advocate for our homeless and housing-insecure population who deserve homes year round regardless of pandemic but especially in this moment. Protect our vulnerable!