Yesterday the temperature hit almost 90 degrees in downtown Los Angeles. A week or two ago the area had cold weather and rain. The folks from Union Rescue Mission were out in force passing out cold water bottles to the people on the street. As the temperature rises the level of discomfort and well being increases as well. URM is out there on the street helping as many people as they are able to help using their own limited resources. As a point of interest, the population of homeless in Los Angeles is larger than the population of Santa Barbara. This is not a small problem.
To give people an idea of the crime around the area of Skid Row within about one mile of Union Rescue Mission (http://www.urm.org/) I will list the crimes that were responded to by the police in Central Division yesterday. Make a mental note; this was just the crime from a single day over a 24 hour period in a small area of Skid Row.
These are the crimes, the location, date / time and case ID numbers.
Burglary 2XX S Broadway 03-15-2010 08:00:00 PM #100107801
Personal / Other Theft 5XX W 5th St 03-15-2010 04:20:00 PM #100107762
Personal / Other Theft 5th St and Broadway 03-15-2010 05:45:00 PM #100107763
Personal / Other Theft 7th and Hope 03-16-2010 04:30:00 PM #100107804
Personal / Other Theft 11th and San Pedro 03-16-2010 10:40:00 AM #101308848
Aggravated Assault 5XX San Pedro St 03-16-2010 09:30:00 AM #100107777
Aggravated Assault 7th and San Julian 03-15-2010 06:50:00 PM #100107758
Aggravated Assault 6th St and Stanford 03-16-2010 07:30:00 AM #100107770
Grand Theft Auto 7th and Towne 03-15-2010 06:00:00 PM #101308813
This was a somewhat quiet 24 hour period. As the economy forces more people out on the street and the population of the homeless increases the problems on many fronts increase. At this time of budget cuts any help from the city is being reduced if not eliminated altogether. Organizations such as Union Rescue Mission, The Los Angeles Mission, The Midnight Mission and other missions need your help now more than ever. I typically steer people who either need help or people who are in a position to give help in the form of donations or time to Union Rescue Mission as I admire their staff, the way they operate and how far they can stretch a dollar. If you are in a position to help financially go to their website at http://urm.org/get-involved/ or if you wish to donate items such as clothes this can be done at their San Pedro address directly to their loading dock.
The problem is not getting any smaller with the increase in the numbers of homeless. If you can become involved in almost any manner it will help those less fortunate.