Chapter 1: Understanding the crisis

Root causes: policy barriers

Policy is both a root cause of our current crisis and a tool for moving forward. We can use policy as a lever to push for solutions while advocating for policies that support our goals and organizing against barriers to ending homelessness.

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Our homelessness crisis didn’t happen overnight; it’s been decades in the making, and policy has played a huge role.

For too long, L.A.’s approach to homelessness was lead by underinvestment and policies that severely limited real solutions like housing and services. Loopholes in state and local laws allowed for more and more people to be evicted and displaced from their homes.

More recently, advocates have driven change through policies that support housing protections, preservation, and production. Understanding the role that policy plays and communicating with elected officials are big opportunities for you to play a role in ending homelessness. There’s strength in numbers and when we work together, we can push for real change and hold elected leaders to their promises.

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Solutions to our homelessness crisis

Homelessness is a complicated, enormous problem. The good news is that we know how to solve it. For the first time, L.A. County has a comprehensive plan and the necessary resources to enact it. One major pillar of this plan is creating more supportive and affordable housing. This is where we focus most of our advocacy efforts.

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