CalChamber Board Hears Recap of LA County Homelessness Study

Darry Sragow, political consultant with Dentons, explains to the CalChamber Board of Directors on March 11 what focus group sessions in Los Angeles County revealed about attitudes toward homelessness. Session attendees saw homelessness as the most pressing issue facing the county, expressing revulsion and in some cases fear, but also compassion toward homeless individuals. Voters divided the homeless population into four categories — those with serious mental issues, drug addiction issues, being healthy and able to work but preferring to live outside, and having fallen on hard times due to the economy. There was a sense that any viable solution would need to compel people in these situations to seek help, and a lack of faith in city and county government to address homelessness. Participants in the focus group sessions, conducted December 13–15, 2021 in several areas of Los Angeles County, included a mix of men and women of different ages, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and political affiliations.