|According to the latest count, 44,000 people live on the streets in and around LA. So Elvis Summers, a 38-year-old guy with a Mohawk and tattooed arms who started a GoFundMe campaign last spring so he could build tiny houses for homeless people to live in. He got the idea after befriending a homeless woman in his neighborhood. So far Summer’s given out 37 tiny 6- by 8-foot houses, which cost $1,200 each to build. They resemble sheds, painted in bright, solid colors, with solar panels on the roof, wheels to make them mobile and a portable camping toilet
This was a triumph for the human spirit until the Mayor’s office of Los Angeles discovered this. “Unfortunately, these structures are a safety hazard,” says Connie Llanos, a spokeswoman for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti. Llanos says they’d be better off taking advantage of official resources like shelters or housing vouchers. Thus I believe Mayor Eric Garcetti has the following questions to answer: “Why would there be 44,000 homeless if there are ample resources for the homeless as you claim? When you took away these people’s homes, did you provide them with alternative housing instead? Why did you spend the resources destroying these homes that could have paid for the added insulation to their homes, solving your only qualm with them? How can you say you are acting in their best interest when they can hardly speak about what you’ve done to them without bursting into tears? These are not rhetorical questions, we want to hear your response.
There may not be any clear law that the mayor is in violation here, but ethics and the law have never been completely intertwined. What the mayor is doing is an egregious crime against humanity. Taking and destroying the homes of innocent and highly vulnerable individuals, who are undergoing hardships that make the worst days of our lives look like a trip to Disneyland, is nothing short of crime against humanity.
Destroying anyone’s home is one of the most heinous displays of the total absence of human empathy. But this is a further trampling of society’s better angels in that these homes were hand crafted out of the goodness of one man’s heart who was funded by the good graces of so many anonymous strangers. If you have even an ounce of understanding in your heart you will take this stand with me and let your voice aggregate, with that of your community members, to a degree greater than any government is willing to ignore. Tell Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles that he is a public servant and the public demands he stop destroying these homes for the homeless.