Homelessness in LA: Garcetti Expected to Declare a State of Emergency



Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Council members are expected to declare today that a “state of emergency” exists in Los Angeles because of homelessness and that they’re ready to spend $100 million per year to fight it.

Garcetti, who has promised to release a “battle plan” on homelessness, said he has been working with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Home for Good, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and others to develop a “separate but coordinated approach” for the city and county that will be rolled
out over the coming weeks.

“My goal is for these strategies to yield the necessary investments,
including $100 million each year for permanent supportive housing, rapid rehousing, and interim housing for homeless people,” Garcetti wrote in a letter to City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana on Monday.

While these efforts are expected to be concluded in the winter, “we
cannot wait until we finish this critical planning process,” Garcetti wrote. A faster response is needed, he said.

“The crisis is such that we cannot wait until we finish this critical
planning process,” he said. “We must do everything we can now to get people off the streets and into housing with the resources we have available.”

He instructed Santana to plan for a potential $5 million to be spent on providing short-term rental housing subsidies that could “rapidly rehouse” about 1,000 homeless people for about six to nine months, along with another $5.1 million to do the same for homeless veterans.

He also proposed spending $665,000 to help open winter shelters a month early, keep them open a month longer and offer 24/7 hours services when it is raining.

Garcetti also proposed putting $1 million into helping to create
regional facilities where the homeless could store their belongings, do their laundry, take showers and get referrals to services.

Another $1 million should pay for data entry work for a “coordinated entry system” that helps manage resources for homeless individuals so that emergency response teams can spend more time doing homeless outreach.

He said these and other initial steps could “give us the momentum
needed to make real progress over the coming year.” He also said they are also needed to prepare for the expected “severe” weather conditions from El Nino this year.

Garcetti is expected to join this morning the chairs of the Los Angeles City Council’s Homelessness and Poverty Committee, Council President Herb Wesson and others to declare the state of emergency and discuss plans the plans to put $100 million into addressing homelessness.

– from CNS