The homelessness problem locally ranks as a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, and the business community in the San Fernando Valley strongly supports the city’s proposal to put temporary homeless shelters in in each council district.
Those are some of the results of a survey by the Valley Industry and Commerce Association of its members.
Homelessness in the Valley is generally believed to be increasing, even though the number of homeless countywide declined slightly to 53,000 in January, at least according to a count by Los Angeles County.
In all, 138 business people responded to the VICA survey, and nearly 62 percent of them said “10” when asked to rate the problem on a scale of 1 to 10. In fact, very few answered 1 through 5; all the responses in the lower half of the range totaled less than 3 percent.
When asked how much homelessness has affected business, about 70 percent of the answers were clustered at the top, in the 7 to 10 range.
The Valley business community, at least as represented by the survey respondents, supports the city’s plan to put temporary homeless shelters in each council district. Close to 66 percent either agreed or strongly agreed with the proposal. Only a little over 10 percent disagreed or strongly disagreed. The rest were neutral or said they had questions.
Furthermore, close to 43 percent said they would even support putting those temporary shelters within half a mile of their business. Only about 28 percent would not support it.
However, support flipped when the query asked if they would support the homeless shelters within half a mile of their home. Close to 47 percent disagreed (with 32 percent strongly disagreeing). Only 23 percent agreed.
A couple other points in the survey: About 57 percent disagreed with the statement that the city is appropriately using funding allocated for the homeless; only about 12 percent agreed with that statement. (More than 30 percent were neutral.) Also, when asked what could be done to prevent homelessness, the biggest single response – 34 percent – said “build affordable housing” and the second biggest – 27 percent – said “mental health facilities.”