sidewalk lined with tents housing homeless people

Vestal on Law-Enforcement Approach to Homelessness Crisis

Marques Vestal, assistant professor of urban planning, spoke to Capital B about a Los Angeles ordinance designating thousands of locations off-limits to homeless encampments. The law has divided the city, with supporters calling for increased public safety around schools and opponents arguing that a law-enforcement approach to homelessness will push vulnerable people deeper into poverty. The article noted that Black people make up nearly 45% of the unhoused population in Los Angeles County. Vestal, co-author of the UCLA report “The Making of a Crisis: A History of Homelessness in Los Angeles,” said the policy of policing the homelessness crisis has burdened Black people for decades. “The housing system has created an institutional process that makes us more vulnerable to getting money taken away from us and more vulnerable to violence,” he said.


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