first_imgMayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Thursday unveiled an ambitious plan “to get every family off Skid Row,” calling on all communities in the county to take responsibility for combating record homelessness in Los Angeles. “`Yes in my backyard’ must be our collective motto throughout the city,” Villaraigosa told local leaders during the opening of an apartment complex for transients now living on Skid Row. “We will work with the county to get every family off Skid Row this next year.” Villaraigosa promised to work with elected officials in Los Angeles County and its 88 cities to develop a plan for locating permanently supported housing and public services in areas outside Skid Row. “Already you’re hearing the naysayers, already you’re hearing those saying, `Hold it, not in my backyard,”‘ Villaraigosa said. “Well, let me be clear about something, Los Angeles and Southern California. We have homeless in every backyard, and it’s the responsibility of everyone in this community.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’Villaraigosa’s bold blueprint for dismantling Skid Row comes a month after the launch of the Safer City Initiative, a crackdown on drug dealers and other criminals who prey on the homeless. But the program – in which the Los Angeles Police Department deployed 50 additional officers to Skid Row – has resulted in complaints from some transients who say they are being kept from the missions, the shelters and the streets they call home. In all, some 3,600 transients are packed into the few square blocks east of downtown known as Skid Row. Villaraigosa called it the “highest concentration of homelessness anywhere in America.” The mayor’s remarks highlighted the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the 87-unit Rainbow Apartments, a project of the Skid Row Housing Trust, which officially opened on San Pedro Street. The guests included Philip Mangano, the Bush administration’s point person on homelessness, who also called for developing “strategic solutions for those living on the sidewalks of the entertainment capital of the world.” Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, D-Los Angeles, who also attended the ceremony, pledged to work with Villaraigosa and other officials to find money for future affordable housing and public services programs. “I think we’re on the threshold of a new beginning,” Villaraigosa said. “I believe that key to that new beginning is that we need a new vision for Los Angeles to end homelessness starting at ground zero here on Skid Row. Only days before Tuesday’s election, officials also used the event to lobby for two ballot initiatives – Proposition 1C and Measure H – which would provide housing bonds to fund affordable housing for the homeless. [email protected] (818) 713-3761160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img