Is L.A Homelessness Fixable? Current Solutions Won’t Work, Here’s Why... | John Cruikshank

Is L.A Homelessness Fixable? Current Solutions Won’t Work, Here’s Why... | John Cruikshank
California Insider Opinion

In a candid interview with John Cruikshank, Candidate for LA County Supervisor and mayor Pro Tem Rancho Palos Verdes, the staggering increase in homelessness over the past eight years becomes a focal point. With numbers soaring from 10-20,000 to a staggering 70-80,000, Cruikshank stresses that the current approach is ineffective, prompting a critical analysis of proposed solutions.

The looming Proposition for additional funding raises questions about the efficacy of allocating more money without addressing the root causes. Cruikshank advocates for a paradigm shift towards greater accountability, highlighting the misconception that homelessness primarily stems from individuals down on their luck. In reality, he contends that 30-50% of the homeless population requires serious medical attention due to mental health issues induced by drug use or natural causes.

Care court, an initiative aimed at providing mentally ill individuals a chance to have their cases heard by a judge, is scrutinized by Cruikshank. He argues that this well-intentioned plan may fall short, as individuals can leave at any time, potentially hampering their ability to make rational decisions. Instead, Cruikshank strongly supports conservatorships, compelling mentally ill patients into hospitals for proper treatment until they regain the capacity for sound decision-making.

Drawing inspiration from successful models, such as the Orange County rescue mission, Cruikshank emphasizes the importance of retraining and relearning skills for those willing to commit to an 18-24 month program. This privately funded initiative boasts a 98% success rate, providing room, board, and a structured environment for individuals looking to reintegrate into society.

Cruikshank challenges the housing-first approach adopted by California, arguing that simply providing housing without accountability perpetuates issues like substance abuse. He proposes a more structured approach, requiring individuals to participate in 12-step programs for rehabilitation. This, he believes, is crucial in light of the rising prevalence and dangers of potent drugs like fentanyl.

In the face of sprawling tent communities along freeways and in downtown Los Angeles, Cruikshank underscores the importance of local government policies. Cities like Beverly Hills and Rancho Palos Verdes, where homeless individuals aren’t allowed to sleep overnight, showcase how stringent policies can mitigate the crisis. Cruikshank asserts that a change in perspective is essential, and local governments must take a proactive stance to address homelessness, emphasizing the principle that “you always get what you allow.

*Views expressed in this video/article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of California Insider.
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