Rick Caruso challenges mayor’s homelessness initiative in Los Angeles

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Los Angeles, California – Rick Caruso, a former candidate for mayor of Los Angeles and a notable business figure, recently criticized Mayor Karen Bass for her new initiative, which seeks contributions from affluent citizens to support housing for the homeless. Caruso pointed out that despite the substantial amounts already spent by the city and state on homelessness, issues persist. He acknowledged the private sector’s willingness to contribute but emphasized the need for assurance that their investments would be effectively utilized.

“I have no doubt the private sector is ready to step up, but that will not happen until there is confidence investments won’t be tossed on the bonfire of wasted and ineffective spending that’s characterized our city’s homelessness strategy to date,” wrote Caruso on an Instagram post.

A state audit revealed that California has allocated $24 billion towards combating homelessness in the last five years. Mayor Bass’s first budget proposed a record $1.3 billion to tackle the homeless crisis. Her latest initiative, dubbed “LA4LA,” does not seek additional taxpayer money. Instead, it calls on business leaders and philanthropic groups to acquire buildings for the homeless. Bass has assured that these funds would be managed by the California Community Foundation and not by the city itself.

“What we’re asking for the money doesn’t actually come to the city; the money goes to a foundation the California Community Foundation and will be used strictly to purchase master lease buildings,” said Bass.

The California Community Foundation is a nonprofit that manages donations aimed at addressing key issues in LA County. Despite these efforts, Caruso disagreed with Bass’s recent campaign.

“When it comes to addressing the Los Angeles homelessness crisis, money is not the issue, leadership is,” said Caruso. “There must be a new and practical gameplan with fresh approaches, strong leadership, and measurable results to inspire the confidence real investment demands.”

This is Rick Caruso Instagram post in full:

When it comes to addressing the Los Angeles homelessness crisis, money is not the issue, a lack of leadership is.

For seven years, the generous voters and taxpayers of Los Angeles have given our political leaders what’s amounted to a blank check to address our tragic homelessness crisis: $1.2 billion in county funding from Prop. HHH in 2016, and $1.3 Billion in the city’s current homelessness budget.

Yet heartbreaking failures continue while the unacceptable human cost rises week after week.

Los Angeles does not lack funding to address homelessness. We lack effective leadership and a clear strategy for meaningful change.

The status quo, with a $600,000 average cost per new homeless dwelling and band-aid approach, is both unacceptable and un-investable.

I have no doubt the private sector is ready to step up. But that will not happen until there is confidence investments won’t be tossed on the bonfire of wasted and ineffective spending that’s characterized our city’s homelessness strategy to date. I say this not as a candidate—the campaign is long over—but as a practical businessman who understands the hard truths of success and failure.

Governor Newsom has called for more oversight of local homelessness programs, citing the same lack of results. I applaud him for that. We can no longer accept failure.

The private sector has long been a partner in the fight to solve homelessness, collaborating with effective organizations like The People’s Concern, Downtown Women’s Center, Union Rescue Mission, and more.

I have no doubt that the private sector is both generous and ready to act. Tina and I, along with many others, have given generously for many years to prevent and solve the homelessness crisis. But there must be a new and practical gameplan with fresh approaches, strong leadership, and measurable results to inspire the confidence real investment demands.

Alex Burton
Alex Burtonhttps://latestusnewshub.com
Alex is part of US News Hub where he covers local news about Los Angeles and Long Beach. From LA crime news to local Long Beach events and happenings, Alex provides breaking stories keeping US News Hub readers informed and engaged.

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