President Trump says Californian cities are “destroying themselves” by failing to address homelessness, as locals look to the federal government for help as a result of a housing crisis.
Talking to reporters aboard Air Force One, Trump said:
We can’t let Los Angeles, San Francisco and numerous other cities destroy themselves by allowing what’s happening. We have people living in our…best highways, our best streets, our best entrances to buildings.
Where people in those buildings pay tremendous taxes, where they went to those locations because of the prestige.
In many cases, they came from other countries and they moved to Los Angeles or they moved to San Francisco because of the prestige of the city, and all of a sudden they have tents.
Hundreds and hundreds of tents and people living at the entrance to their office building. And they want to leave. And the people of San Francisco are fed up, and the people of Los Angeles are fed up.
His comments come after Democrat governor, along with California mayors and state officials asked the Trump administration for 50,000 additional vouchers for those impacted by the housing crisis, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Trump embarked on a two-day fundraising trip to California which has been met with protests.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, a Democrat, said in a Facebook video post ahead of Trump's arrival:
[Homelessness] is a multidimensional problem. It is about giving people a place to live, the services that they need, and making sure that we enforce what we can.
This is not something you can arrest your way out of or clean your way out of.
We are ready, willing and able. One thing we will not do is violate the constitution. We will not do things that is against the fabric of this America.
Welcome to LA Mr President. This is your chance to do something. We hope that you will.
The state of California has one of the highest rates of homelessness in America. According to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness California had an estimated 129,972 experiencing homelessness on any given day, as of the latest statistics in January 2018.
Of those 6,702 were family households, 10,836 were veterans, 12,396 were unaccompanied young adults (18-24) and 43,332 were individuals experiencing chronic homelessness.