(NewsNation) — Politicians on both sides of the aisle are looking to tackle homelessness in the country.
In the latest federal update from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, homelessness went up by 0.3% since 2020.
The agency announced Monday it is sending $60 million to New York City to help address homelessness.
According to NewsNation local affiliate PIX11, several community groups are receiving grants and vouchers to help speed up the process of giving people housing.
Donald Trump, who is running in the 2024 presidential election, recently unveiled his own plan to deal with homelessness.
“Under my strategy working with states, we will try to ban urban camping wherever possible,” Trump said. “Violators of this ban will be arrested but they will be given the option of treatment.”
However, as some on social media praised this, others criticized Trump’s plan, such as Ann Oliva, chief executive for the National Coalition for the Homeless, who called it “alarming and dangerous in numerous ways” in an email to Newsweek.
Meanwhile, Democratic Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass is spending $1.4 billion next year alone to get unhoused people in the city into shelters and treatment.
“How can I say the state of the city is strong when 40,000 people are living in tents?” Bass asked. “I think it’s really important to be honest, even when it’s a message people don’t want to hear.”
In L.A., where the car is king, those who live in their vehicles are being encouraged to park overnights at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). There’s a dedicated lot at the airport that the homeless must sign a code of conduct to use. They are also told to leave in the morning.
Other airports across the nation have also seen a number of homeless people, with nowhere else to go, setting up camp. In Ohio’s Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, people are sleeping in walkways and curling into chairs, and the same happens at Chicago’s O’Hare.
In one instance, an airport worker in Cleveland, Phtonia Solomon, was attacked by a homeless woman.
“All of a sudden, she just punched me. Ran up and punched me,” Solomon recalled. “Started scratching my face, put her hands in my mouth.”
Attacks against the homeless are an issue as well — the National Coalition for the Homeless reported in 2018 there were 1,769 acts of violence against homeless individuals by housed perpetrators from 1997 through 2017. Over 400 lost their lives as a result of those attacks.
Cassie Buchman contributed to this article.