One of the most exceptional parts of the Kennedy School are the students that surround you in the classroom. I’m very grateful that one student reached out and asked me to join a small group of students that regularly discuss issues of poverty and anti-poverty policy. We meet weekly and each person takes a turn setting the readings.
This Sunday I had the opportunity to set up the group’s topic. I recently blogged on my meaningful trip to Los Angeles this January. During the trip, we spent an afternoon on Skid Row touring health clinics, shelters and permanent housing. My time on Skid Row was so striking that I left with more questions than answers. I chose to focus our group’s discussion on homelessness in Los Angeles, and state and local interventions for reducing homelessness.
I’ve included the selections I made for the group. Part 1 provides background from short radio pieces, and then in Part 2 I pull in some more in-depth articles from the New York Times on homelessness nationally. Part 3 includes plans from the LA United Way and policy recommendations from the Economic Roundtable. These are not meant to be comprehensive, but instead provide a baseline for conversation about homelessness, large cities and sustainable solutions.
PART 1: BACKGROUND ON HOMELESSNESS AND SKID ROW
- Marketplace.org: Skid Row was L.A.’s solution for homelessness. Now that’s changing
- Southern California Public Radio: Los Angeles City Attorney Investigates Patient Dumping
- 2008 L.A. Chamber of Commerce Brochure on Los Angeles’ Skid Row
PART 2: BROADENING THE CONVERSATION ON HOMELESSNESS
- New York Times: Program to End Homelessness Among Veterans Reaches A Milestone in Arizona
- New York Times: A Plan to Make Homelessness History
PART 3. SOLUTIONS IN LOS ANGELES
- L.A. United Way’s Plan for Decreasing Homelessness: Home for Good Action Plan
- 2009 Economic RoundTable report: Where we Sleep: The Costs of Housing and Homelessness in L.A.
Hope these are helpful and provide food for thought on a complex and pressing issue for many of our communities.Until next time,