Private Property sign in foreground with beach behind it | Still from "Access Denied" on SoCal Connected

Same Goal, Different Approaches: Ending Homelessness in L.A.

Homelessness in L.A. has been a problem for decades, but now a major push is being made to help end chronic and veteran homelessness by 2016.

With the next Homeless Count report slated to be released in 2015, local organizations are gearing up toward one common goal: Getting as many people off the streets and into permanent housing. But while the end goal is the same, there are differing opinions about how to get there.

Los Angeles and New York City have the largest number of homeless populations in the nation. An estimated 39,500 people are homeless in Los Angeles County, according to United Way of Greater Los Angeles. L.A. trails behind only second to New York City, which has an estimated 64,000 people living on the streets.

63-year-old Diane Merritt has been living on Skid Row for four years, as reporter Derrick Shore finds. Merritt shares her story living on the streets of Skid Row and her recent transition into permanent housing, just a block away from her old makeshift home. Although she is no longer living on the streets, Merritt is still faced with a constant reminder that her journey to a full transition is not quite over.

In this episode of "SoCal Connected," reporter Derrick Shore interviews various organizations dedicated to ending homelessness: Los Angeles Mission, United Way of Greater Los Angeles. Shore also interviews longtime residents of Skid Row who have moved into permanent housing after living on the streets for years and even decades.

Will Los Angeles reach its goal of getting people off the streets by 2016? What are local organizations doing to obtain that goal?

Update: 10/8/14: Since we last met with Sally, she has moved into permanent housing.

Featuring Interviews With:

  • Herb Smith, executive director, The L.A. Mission
  • Christine Marge, director, Housing Stability, United Way
  • Anthony, volunteer




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