More L.A. Latinos falling into homelessness, shaking communities in ‘a moment of crisis’ Los Angeles County data show that nearly 5% of Latinos fall into the county’s homeless list; study shows that many are here during the worst housing crisis in U.S. history.
EL PASO, Texas — Even by Los Angeles County standards, an area of concrete and tin shacks can be overwhelming, with its rows of shuttered buildings and abandoned cars.
The El Paso Housing Authority is one of the city’s many nonprofits that aim to help homeless families, but as part of its plan to transition homeless families into permanent housing, it is also looking for volunteers to give up their space.
So far, about two dozen families have relocated from a homeless shelter into a former warehouse, a former elementary school and an overpass where children play soccer and play tag outside in the warm sun.
It isn’t unusual: It was three weeks ago that a family started arriving after a three-month stint in the shelter.
“If the shelter needed to shut down, my next door neighbor would have just moved his house in here,” volunteer Luis Aguirre said of the city’s homeless shelter, where he helped out last week.
He’s one of the people who volunteered to help an organization that is the largest in the nation to help homeless families, but it also is seen as a controversial mission.
And it’s a mission that is already in the crosshairs of critics, including some who call the El Paso Housing Authority’s strategy a “waste of public money” and a “wasteful subsidy to the worst elements of the homeless population.”
But the city is trying to push ahead and move forward in what Mayor Greg Stanton said is a “moment of crisis.”
“There are many factors that lead to homelessness, but we are at a moment right now in a region where we are very vulnerable due to the housing shortage,” said Stanton, who supports the effort to transition homeless families into permanent housing.
“Many of those individuals who might otherwise be housed are now sleeping in cars, vehicles, and abandoned buildings, or living in shelters with no ability to transition them or to help them become integrated back into the community.”
The El Paso Housing Authority, whose mission is to identify and assist homeless