City tries to cancel use of the term ‘homeless’
Public officials in Los Angeles have called for instead using such labels as “people living outside”
America’s most populous county, Los Angeles, hasn’t yet cracked the code on solving homelessness, but local government officials have come up with a way to change conversations about the crisis: canceling the term “homeless.”
Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), argued this week in a tweet that labels like these are unacceptable. “the homeless” “homeless people”must be replaced with more “inclusive”Conditions “people living outside” “people who are unhoused.”It is important to eliminate the “negative stigma”Concerning homelessness “emphasize personhood over housing status,”According to the authority.
“Our unhoused neighbors are human, and the language we use should reflect that,”The LAHSA was also added. “Let’s abandon outdated, othering and dehumanizing terminology and instead adopt people-centered language.”
It is important to choose terminology that you understand. “acknowledges a person’s individuality,” according to the agency, but it’s not clear how “people who are unhoused”It reflects more of your individuality than anyone else. “homeless people.”
“With respect, I often interview people on the street,”Glen Dunzweiler, a filmmaker on Twitter. “They don’t care about euphemisms. They want to be looked at in the eye and treated with dignity. I think the word salad just makes housed people feel better.”
Respectfully, I interview street people. They don’t care about euphemisms. They want to be looked at in the eye and treated with dignity. The word “salad” makes people who live in houses feel happier.
— Glen Dunzweiler (@GDunzweiler) August 23, 2022
Los Angeles’ homeless population is large enough to fill an entire city, no matter what they are called. The county’s homeless population jumped to 66,436 in early 2020, up 13% from a year earlier. In the intervening years, however, LAHSA has stopped counting.
The new figures were due to be released by the authority in May or June. However, they were pushed back to September. Given rising rents and inflationary pressures that are driving more people to the streets, it is likely that there will be another substantial increase in homelessness.
Los Angeles is home to 20% of America’s homeless population. Five people per day are reported to die every day from this, according the Los Angeles Times. Many large tent settlements have appeared along streets and parks. The city has been criticised for removing some of these tent communities without offering a safe place to live. Los Angeles City Council earlier in the month prohibited homeless camps from being within 500 feet proximity to schools or day care centers.
LAHSA manages over $800,000,000 annually of federal, state and local funding for homeless programs. Heidi Marston, who resigned as the authority’s director earlier this year, lamented that even as an average of 205 homeless people in Los Angeles County were finding housing each day, 225 were losing their dwellings. “Homelessness is a crisis we made,”She said. “We can unmake it if we only have the will.”