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LA County Spending $105MM to House Chronically Homeless

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Today LA County planned to announce a new program to spend $105 million on housing and services for the county's most chronically homeless residents, reports the LA Times. The new program marks a shift in focus on how the county approaches homelessness based on the premise that a small portion of the county's homeless population, the most persistent cases, uses an inordinate amount of public funds, usually in hospitals and jails. The new investment follows the lead of previous efforts that focused on the same population, albeit on a smaller scale. From the LAT: "A county study found that Project 50, which began in late 2007 with the goal of housing the 50 most vulnerable, long-term homeless people on skid row, more than paid for itself, yielding a net savings of $238,700 over two years by cutting shelter, medical and jail costs." About $88 million of the total will pay for rental subsidies for 587 people over the next 15 years, $8.6 million will pay for 218 new supportive housing units, and the rest of the funds will pay for counseling, treatment, and other services. The new county program is just the latest in what seems like a rash of recent news about communities struggling to deal with LA County's population of 51,000 homeless individuals: Skid Row has begun a regular power washing ritual on its sidewalks, and Venice stakeholders look ready to sue the city over what they say is inequitable enforcement of a recently approved camping prohibition in city-owned parks.
· L.A. County to focus funds on chronically homeless [LA Times]
· Venice Beach Group Wants DTLA-Style Homeless Crackdown [Curbed LA]