On the front page of the Summer 2015 issue of the HPOA newsletter, our heroine and perennial source of subject matter, Kerry Morrison, has an article cynically entitled Discouraging News About Homelessness Surprises No One. Her subject is the 2015 homeless count results, released last month and showing that homelessness in Los Angeles County has increased by 12% over 2013, the year of the last count. In her piece, Kerry gives a number of delusional speculations on why this might have happened: more crazy people, good weather in LA, Prop 47 (srsly), people who, following the example of Jesus Christ, give money to panhandlers, the FREAKING ACLU?!!3
You’d never guess though, from reading this little essay, that the County’s approach to the problem of homelessness consists of anything more than a bunch of random but self-styledly-good-natured business-people chilling in their offices speculating benignantly about how hobos gossiping amongst themselves about how the livin’ is easy down by the LA River3 might possibly have to our current homelessness armageddon. There are actually agencies in Los Angeles whose entire purpose is “to support, create and sustain solutions to homelessness in Los Angeles County…”
But there are: that quote comes from the mission statement of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Agency, which, according to the same document, is
…the lead agency in the Los Angeles Continuum of Care, which is the regional planning body that coordinates housing and services for homeless families and individuals in Los Angeles County. LAHSA coordinates and manages over $70 million dollars annually in Federal, State, County and City funds for programs that provide shelter, housing and services to homeless persons in Los Angeles City and County.
There are other agencies involved in working with the homeless, but LAHSA’s responsible for about 70% of the $100,000,000 spent annually in LA County. The reaction from Peter Lynn, LAHSA’s executive director, is to say that the agency needs more money to be able to do anything about the problem. The Los Angeles Times has criticized LAHSA’s handling of the homeless problem in the County. For instance, according to the Times, one of LAHSA’s most essential programs, its emergency response teams, costs only $330,000 of the over $70,000,000 being spent (less than one half of one percent).
This is LAHSA’s mission and this is the shameful outcome of LAHSA’s work. Local homeless-rights activist General Jeff has stated in certain terms that LAHSA has not only failed in its mission but has also at least tacitly admitted so. Quoth General Jeff:
What was most disappointing was to listen to LAHSA’s Board of Commissioners after the presentation/announcement. Several Board members stated that they “needed to FIND the solutions” to end homelessness. One can easily deduct that if you need to find it, you don’t currently have it.
Now that the hopes and dreams of tens of thousands of homeless folks across LA County have been crushed, any and all persons in homeless solutions leadership positions should PUBLICLY APOLOGIZE for letting us all down. We counted on them, and they let us down….in a drastic way.
If any of these individuals and organizations continue to receive funding (be rewarded) for their incompetence, a Federal “State of Emergency” needs to be declared to initiate the “cleaning house” efforts of this failed regime.
And not that you’d know it from reading this essay, not at all, but, you see, Kerry Morrison is the chair of the board of commissioners of LAHSA. It’s her agency that spends $70,000,000 a year on homelessness while the number of homeless people explodes. It’s her apology General Jeff is calling for. It’s her resignation from the board of LAHSA that might atone somewhat for their exceedingly public failure. It’s not likely she left the agency’s abject, witless incompetence off her list by accident, is it? Even more damning is the fact that all the articles linked to above were brought to our attention by the LAHSA commission meeting minutes of May 22, 2015, so it’s really inconceivable that she hasn’t seen them.
And note that Kerry Morrison doesn’t just not “publicly apologize” as General Jeff and all sane people see that she should, but, in her list of groundless, unsupported speculations on why the homeless population of Los Angeles might have increased so drastically (gossip amongst hobos, for God’s sake…the ACLU??!!), also fails even to mention the utter, complete, total, comprehensive, panspectral failure of LAHSA or other public agencies. We have a groundless, unsupported speculation of our own about the reason for this omission of Kerry’s, and we bet you can guess what it is…
The only question to which we don’t have an answer is why anyone takes Kerry’s opining on this matter seriously when she lies so easily by omission regarding her own involvement in the matters on which she writes. One is forced to wonder at what else is left out. As our buddies the lawyers like to say: falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus,2 or as famous Los Angeles judge Lance Ito told a famous Los Angeles jury towards the end of the last century:
A witness who is willfully false in one material part of his or her testimony, is to be distrusted in others. You may reject the whole testimony of a witness who has willfully testified falsely as to a material point unless, from all the evidence, you believe the probability of truth favors his or her testimony and other particulars.
Yes, of course. Kerry’s not on her oath when blogging for her employer. But really, what kind of person would rely on such an excuse?
- The exceedingly rhyming nature of this title was wondered at during our group read-through of this post. All we can say is that we were inspired by Steve Seyler, poet laureate of the BID Patrol, even though Steve isn’t discussed in this post much.
- It utterly amazes everyone here at MK.org that Google translate can handle Latin so effectively now. What did we even spend all those years in college for? This whole internetworking thing is really turning out to be a bigger deal than we thought it was gonna back in the 70s when we first found out about it.
- Srsly. Read Kerry’s list. We’re not making any of these speculations up. We couldn’t even had made them up if we’d been inclined to.
Image of Kerry Morrison keeping schtum is ©2014 MichaelKohlhaas.org.