L.A. can’t fix homelessness without the federal government’s help

January 27, 2021

Originally published in the Los Angeles Times – January 27, 2021

To the editor: Whether or not President Biden’s proposals for building more housing are politically possible, the urgency is clear: We need a national solution to homelessness that draws on the much larger federal budget and more far-reaching federal programs.

They offer our best hope for solving the many challenges of successfully housing our homeless neighbors. At Venice Family Clinic, we have seen what a difference one federally funded and locally administered program, Project Roomkey, has made for a small number of our patients experiencing homelessness.

Much more help is needed. As a nation, we rallied to recognize homelessness as an emergency that needed to be addressed to help slow the spread of COVID-19. As a nation, we must continue to treat homelessness as an emergency that warrants the federal attention and funds needed to make housing a right for all.

Coley M. King, Venice

The writer is a physician and director of homeless services at the Venice Family Clinic.