August 25, 2019 | By Ben Kennedy, CBN News
California’s homeless epidemic is hitting record levels. Many have turned to faith-based groups for help, but despite those organizations’ best efforts, more are turning up in need of assistance.
“What you are seeing is a row of tents,” said Officer Deon Joseph of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Those rows make up “skid row,” a 50-block area with the country’s largest homeless population that’s only continuing to grow.
“California is experiencing a massive spike in its rodent population that started being detected two years ago but has accelerated in the last 12 months,” said Carl DeMaio, Chairman of Reform California.
Reform California reports this rampant rat infestation has even caused the spread of dangerous diseases like typhus.
Celebrity physician Dr. Drew Pinsky calls it a health crisis, something not seen “in this country for 100 years.” Pinsky even compared downtown LA to a third world country because of its public health problems and lack of sanitation.
“Rats have taken over the city, it’s not consistent with civilization, how many must die before we change direction?” Pinsky said.
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In 2019 homeless numbers in LA County rose by 12 percent to nearly 59,000 people. “I have to respond to the systemic failures of our country in helping people like this and it’s not going to be pretty but it worked, it drove people to programs,” said Officer Joseph.
Officer Joseph has covered life “on the skids” for 22 years, helping people like Rose, who battled drug addiction for more than a decade.
“I got keys to my own place,” said Rose. “It feels good, you can wake up knowing you are going to wake up, everything is going to be alright, no worries.”
“Rose has been an inspiration to me,” Officer Joseph said. “I don’t know how many people she has inspired on the street, but she is an inspiration to me. She is why I keep doing what I do.”
Success stories like Rose are needed now more than ever. “It is [an] absolute FEMA-like, Red Cross-like, National Guard-like disaster, it is an epidemic of homelessness,” said Rev. Andy Bales….
The LA Homeless Services Authority reports that women and children make up 40 percent of the homeless population. One more reason why Officer Joseph says more shelters are needed to help families, kids, and elderly.
(Excerpt from CBN News article by Ben Kennedy.)