LOS ANGELES—Mayor Eric Garcetti was joined by Los Angeles City Council members and homeless service providers today to announce the approval of $12.4 million in emergency homeless relief funding, which will be used this winter to help get Angelenos off the street and out of harm’s way. With El Niño winter storms expected to hit the Southland in the coming weeks, the new funding will help expand temporary housing and other critical services as the City continues working toward long-term strategies to fight homelessness.
“We will not be intimidated by the scale of this problem, or listen to those who say it is intractable,” said Mayor Garcetti. “We must remain laser-focused on solving this crisis — both on the short-term fixes and long-term strategies that will keep our residents safe and off the streets.”
The majority of this funding, $10 million, will be used for City-sponsored rapid rehousing subsidies — the first time Los Angeles has ever used general fund dollars to cover these costs. This housing assistance will also be used to cover move-in costs for people who find housing, and will include targeted funding to help house homeless veterans. This new funding is expected to house nearly 1,000 homeless individuals.
Funding will also be used to increase winter shelter beds in Los Angeles by more than 50 percent, bringing the City’s total to 1,300. The goal is to provide these beds to people living in high-risk locations — including the L.A. riverbed and the Tujunga and Arroyo Seco washes.
“As Co-Chair of the Homelessness and Poverty Committee, I will be focusing on the implementation of our strategic plan being released early next year and in collaboration with the County, we will create a better safety net to keep people off of the streets,” said Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson. “This is just the beginning of the funds we hope to release to bring about real change to the people living on the streets here in Skid Row, South Los Angeles, the Westside and Valley. There is no question that we need to not only provide housing and supportive services for our homeless individuals, but we have to plug the hole and stop people from falling into homelessness as well.”
“The money we allocated today is a down payment on our $100 million commitment to fund a Strategic Plan for Homelessness in the City of Los Angeles,” said Councilmember José Huizar, who represents Skid Row and serves as Co-Chair of the Homelessness & Poverty Committee. “While some of this money helps prepare long-term infrastructure to address homelessness, the bulk of the money is for immediate actions to help people get off of the streets. With the support of the Mayor, the H & P Committee is working on creating the necessary institutional knowledge and infrastructure to address homelessness Citywide. This comprehensive plan will be released in January.”
As this short-term spending plan is being finalized, City and County leaders are also wrapping a series of meetings held over the last three months to develop coordinated policy recommendations for a long-term strategy to address homelessness across the region. In early January, the City’s Chief Administrative Officer and the County’s Chief Executive Officer are expected to release these overview recommendations.
“No one person or agency can solve this crisis alone. We are in this together to ensure that every Angeleno has a secure place to sleep at night,” Mayor Garcetti said.