Faced with declining funds and rising demand, a homeless shelter on Los Angeles’s Skid Row has begun charging nightly fees, writes the Associated Press.
Union Rescue Mission–one of four facilities that have long provided free cots and food in the downtown L.A. neighborhood with one of the country’s biggest homeless populations–is now charging $7 for an overnight stay. The shelter has also cut its offering of free meals from three to one a day.
While most shelters nationwide remain free, some facilities in other major cities have also started to impose fees, driven by both budget woes and a philosophy that charging clients reduces dependency and encourages self-sufficiency. The trend has prompted protests from advocates for the homeless.