Officials in Los Angeles, California, have declared a “state of emergency” over the rising problem of homelessness and poverty in the second largest city in the United States.
The emergency declaration on Tuesday by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and seven city council members underscores the growing alarm over the city’s homeless population, which has risen 12 percent since 2013.
Los Angeles officials proposed spending $100 million to provide permanent housing and shelters to help the city’s 26,000 homeless residents, which numbered 23,000 just two years ago.
The proposal was introduced to the Los Angeles city council a day after Garcetti proposed another $13 million in immediate expenditures to tackle homelessness.
“The city has pushed this problem from neighborhood to neighborhood for too long,” Garcetti told a news conference. “It has cost us money, and most importantly it’s cost us lives,” he said of the homelessness problem.
Groups of homeless people residing in tents and sidewalks have become an increasingly frequent sight in the city.