A new billboard has made its home on the corner of Vine Street and Santa Monica Boulevard. This Hollywood intersection gets quite a bit of traffic, so it’s certainly gaining some attention. The sign reads “HOMELESS.” It is depicted to look like the iconic Hollywood sign, with the rolling hills in the background and all.
The billboard is a part of a campaign, calling the homeless crisis in Los Angeles a scandal. The campaign is hoping to urge city and county officials to take faster, more immediate action, according to South California News. In Los Angeles country alone, the homeless population has grown 23% in the last year. This rate is still growing, despite some of the efforts made with increased housing.
The city is trying their best to take more action. Roughly 71% of people look at roadside billboard when they pass by, so they are marketing at a successful rate. When the iconic Hollywood sign is included in this type of marketing, people are going to really pay attention. At least that’s what Michael Weinstein thinks. The president of the AIDS healthcare Foundation founded the campaign, and also created a website to go along with it.
Before the placement of the billboard, a $1.2 billion bond was used to fund construction of housing developments for the homeless in Los Angeles. Weinstein says he hasn’t seen enough progress since, thus the billboard was born. He wants to see more portable restrooms, conversions of motels into shelters, and even the use of empty land for tent cities if necessary.
“We need to treat this as a natural disaster and basically say that everyone needs to be given assistance as quickly as possible,” he told SCPR.
Hilsa Solis, the Los Angeles County Supervisor, also weighed in on the issue: “It’s not going to happen overnight. And it’s going to take a village, it’s going to take all of us doing it.”