I don’t know if you have spent day in and day out on Skid ROw in Los Angeles – but I have. I have been there over night – in the SRO’s, on the streets, sitting on stoops and in the shelters.
I have seen people in the recovery programs walk out the front door on day 91 of their programs and be offered a pipe. Why? Because although there are a multitude of service providers and recovery programs in the area – they are in the area where all the users and dealers spend their time. When my daughter was 10 she say the flaw in the logic.
But, moving the recovery programs to other neighborhoods won’t work because people still have to walk out the door and most of them won’t be walking into permanent housing – they will be walking onto the streets where they live, among the friends they have who are still using and some not using – but all tempted by the ever-present drug dealers.
If someone wants drugs badly enough, they can walk 10 blocks and buy it. Creating a safety zone is a long time coming and an obvious solution.
The money used to pay the police – who are stationed right in the middle of skid row anyway – is not funding that would create more housing or jobs. It is not an incentive to arrest the people who are using – it is TARGETING those who are selling. And I hear that the ACLU is worried that it will cause people to be harassed because they may LOOK like someone on the list. seriously – The central Division Police know the residents and the dealers on the row – they know who they are looking for. But even if they are wrong , let them arrest anyone who SELLS drugs in the area. Make it unpleasant to be a dealer in Skid Row.
Then, when the dealers are gone, watch the crime rate decrease as well. More housing is all fine and well, but right now, more housing on the row is just creating a larger housed customer base for the gangsters and don’t you remember what happened at LAMP last Easter when the drug dealers sublet apartments on Skid Row for ease of distribution?
But, what do I know. I only know what I have seen, heard and worked with… and Carmen Trutanich – I love you just a little bit more after yesterday’s announcement!