LA's seen a startling swell in the numbers of homeless people in just the last two years and is producing just a fifth of the supportive housing it would need to help get some of those people off the streets, so this morning, reports KPCC, Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson and members of the Homelessness and Poverty Committee want to make it official at a press conference: LA is in a "state of emergency" when it comes to homelessness. They'd also like LA to allot $100 million toward spending to create more space at shelters and housing, as well as other services for the homeless.
LA already spends about $100 million on homelessness, but most of that money is spent on law enforcement, which doesn't actually help people get off the streets. If the councilmembers' plan is approved, the $100 million would be under the control of the housing committee, a rep for Councilman Gil Cedillo (one of the councilmen expected to help announce the state of emergency) told the LA Times. The housing committee would then use the money to build housing and up the capacity that shelters can hold, and the state-of-emergency status would help to expedite any building. Money would start flowing in January.
There is still the small matter of where this $100 million will come from. Councilman Cedillo "did not disclose where the $100 million would come from," and said that he expects the city's budget analysts to figure that part out.
This initiative comes on the heels of a proposal yesterday from Mayor Eric Garcetti that would make $12.6 million available for services like rental subsidies for short-term housing for the homeless and homeless veterans and establishing centers where the homeless can store their things and get services, says KPCC. The money for the Mayor's proposal would come from "projected excess funds."
· L.A. lawmakers to declare 'state of emergency,' commit more than $100 million to fight homelessness [LAT]
· LA leaders to pledge $100 million to fighting homelessness 'emergency' [SCPR]
· A Lot More People Are Homeless in Los Angeles These Days [Curbed LA]
· Los Angeles Producing Just a Fifth of the Homeless Housing it Needs Every Year [Curbed LA]