The Board of Supervisors approved $7 million in funding yesterday to help get homeless individuals, particularly women and veterans, off the street and into housing quickly.
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas recommended transferring $2 million to Housing for Health, a program run by the Department of Health Services that he said has a proven track record of quickly sourcing supportive housing.
“It is urgent that we move homeless people, particularly women, off the streets and out of harm’s way as El Nino approaches,” Ridley-Thomas said, adding that women are particularly vulnerable to violence and sexual predators.
The $2 million will be shifted from district funds previously allocated
to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
Separately, Supervisors Don Knabe and Hilda Solis proposed launching the Home for Heroes program with $5 million. The plan is to serve at least 1,000 homeless veterans over the next 18
months with strategies that include more shelter beds, landlord incentives for housing veterans and grants to cover move-in costs like security deposits.
“One of the challenges in housing our homeless vets has been
identifying housing for them, even when they had a voucher in hand, it was taking vets 90 days or longer to find an apartment,” ” Knabe said.
The board is awaiting recommendations from the Homeless Initiative it established last year, when it committed to spend $101 million on fighting homelessness. A draft set of recommendations is expected Thursday.
About $1.2 million of the $5 million approved yesterday for Home for Heroes will be set aside to pay for recommendations offered by that group, Solis said.
“Our veterans, both men and women, have sacrificed so much for our country. They put their lives on the line to protect our country and our freedom that we all cherish so much. Now, it’s our turn to help hem by ensuring they receive the attention they deserve so that they do not end up homeless and forgotten,” Solis said.