Los Angeles has become the first city in the nation to declare a public emergency in response to a boom in the number of homeless people on its streets, the New York Times reported.
The street-dwelling population has grown so large that it constitutes a city within a city: Officials estimate about 26,000 people roam Los Angeles unsheltered.
The crisis has grown so dire that the mayor and a number of City Council members proposed Tuesday that the city spend $100 million in the next year on permanent housing and shelters, Reuters reports.
"This city has pushed this problem from neighborhood to neighborhood for too long, from bureaucracy to bureaucracy," Mayor Eric Garcetti said, according to Al Jazeera America. "Every single day we come to work, we see folks lying on this grass, a symbol of our city's intense crisis."