Transit can be a vital resource for the homeless. In Los Angeles, where that population is growing, this is doubly true.
"For many homeless individuals living in cities, a robust public transit network is an invaluable resource, providing shelter when the shelters are full, inaccessible, or indifferent," Amelia Taylor-Hochberg writes for Curbed Los Angeles in a long-read article that details the policy response of the region's transit agency to a growing homeless population.
"The populations of chronically homeless people in both the city and county have consistently risen in the past few years," according to Taylor-Hochberg. Homeless advocates hope that, "[w]ith the constructive timing and a focus on coordinated efforts, transit agencies can deal a significant blow against homelessness," adds Taylor-Hochberg reports.
As the challenges of homelessness evolves, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is looking for new ways to respond to the region's growing homeless population, including with the creation of a Homeless Task Force in Spring 2016. That task force is already hard at work on a new Transit Homeless Action Plan:
In October 2016, the task force received $1.2 million to create special outreach teams to respond exclusively to homelessness on Metro. These so-called C3 teams (County, City, Community), are contracted by the Department of Health Services and its subcontractor, People Assisting the Homeless (PATH), and are somewhat similar to previous efforts implemented in Skid Row. They’ll ride the system’s Red, Gold, and Green lines for a year, then report back to Metro to inform the Transit Homeless Action Plan.
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