Homelessness Is Not Inevitable

While It Now Seems Like a Social Norm, There Are Actions We Can Take to Keep People off the Streets

Ten years ago, Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez attended what he refers to as a “dog and pony show” on Los Angeles’ Skid Row. Its topic: the plan to end homelessness. “And yet,” Lopez told a standing-room-only crowd at a “Thinking L.A.” event co-presented by UCLA and Zócalo at the Plaza on Olvera Street, “homelessness is still going on.”

Lopez moderated a panel on why, despite years of discussion, people continue to live on the streets—and what can actually be done to change it. He was joined by L.A. County Housing for Health director Marc Trotz, UCLA psychiatrist Kenneth Wells, Ocean Park Community Center executive director John Maceri, and Christine Margiotta, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs alumna and vice president of community impact at United Way of Greater Los Angeles.

The group agreed that while progress has been …

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