Skid Row Dumping Ground
Now a few local hospitals are admitting they've done the same. Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles and Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center are among those who report that they have in the past dropped off homeless patients in the area.
LAPD officers have reported witnessing at least four different Los Angeles suburban police agencies dumping homeless in the area bound by Main, Alameda, Third and Seventh Streets. The agencies deny this and state they have policies in place to prohibit the practice.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has ordered an inquiry into the practice and laws may be enacted, or sanctions sough against the cities and agencies who dump homeless.
Over a year ago, we reported on efforts by Santa Clarita to ship their homeless to the San Fernando Valley. The plan was later shot down by a Los Angeles County commission.
There are many reasons for homelessness and no one answer to deal with the problem. However, a significant portion of the homeless population is mentally ill. It was Ronald Reagan, while Governor of California, who shut down most of the mental hospitals in California, leading to the surge of homeless in the Golden State.
If we could open up facilities for the mentally ill homeless it would solve a lot of the problem. There may be costs to do so, but it could eliminate other costs borne by public agencies in dealing with the homeless.