Building on an array of promising successes, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a $402 million spending plan for 2018-2019 to widen and intensify its fight against homelessness.
The five-member board unanimously adopted dozens of recommendations for the second-year budget of Measure H, the voter-approved quarter-cent sales tax dedicated exclusively to providing services and programs to combat the homelessness crisis.
The newly-adopted budget targets a number of critical strategies in the County’s comprehensive Homeless Action Plan. It includes $120 million for shelter and interim housing, $73 million for rapid re-housing, $49 million for permanent supportive housing and $30 million for outreach.
The plan expands on spending priorities adopted by the supervisors for Measure H’s first year but provides greater flexibility to meet emerging challenges and trends, such as the growing number of encampments throughout the county.
Supervisors comment on today’s funding decisions:
“Today’s vote was an important milestone in continuing the difficult and essential work of bringing help and hope to our homeless neighbors,” said Board Chair Sheila Kuehl. “The Measure H spending plan approved today by the Board builds on proven strategies and puts resources where they’re needed most.
“As we enter the second year of this unprecedented effort,” she added, “it’s encouraging to see this collaborative process going forward in ways that are literally saving lives.”
Supervisor Hilda L. Solis said the new Measure H spending plan offers hope for the “tens of thousands of Angelenos who live on the streets, in their cars, or in the homes of friends or family.”
“Today’s passage of Measure H funding expands our effort to make a positive impact in the lives of many of our homeless friends and neighbors,” Solis said. “We will continue to do everything in our power to address the homelessness crisis through collaboration and innovative solutions that help lift up our most vulnerable residents.”
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas emphasized the importance of prevention and support.
“Thanks to Measure H, we are expanding and recharging our crisis response to homelessness while, at the same time, funding programs to keep people from becoming homeless in the first place,” he said. “Measure H is funding everything you need to move people into housing, and all that it takes to make sure they stay in housing and thrive.
“We must work together,” he said, “to make sure every person who calls L.A. County home is able to live a life of dignity and purpose.”
Supervisor Janice Hahn praised the County’s progress since voters passed Measure H but cautioned that “we recognize we have a long way to go.”
“We are building new partnerships, we are adapting to new problems, and we are doubling down in our groundbreaking efforts to get people off of the streets and into housing,” Hahn said.
Added Supervisor Kathryn Barger: “We are seeing despair transition to hope. From housing to mental health care, I look forward to continuing our efforts to address every facet of the homelessness crisis.”
Measure H is already making a difference:
Measure H was passed by voters in March 2017, with services beginning the following July. In the nine months between then and March 2018, thousands of individuals and families have been helped.
The County is on track to meet the initial five-year goal of Measure H—to provide permanent housing for 45,000 families and individuals, while preventing an additional 30,000 from falling into homelessness.
Among the most important successes so far:
-10,330 people entered crisis, bridge and interim housing funded in whole or in part by Measure H.
5,239 homeless families and individuals secured permanent housing due specifically to funding from Measure H.
-2,195 clients were linked to new Intensive Case Management Services slots for permanent supportive housing, 1,108 clients received federal rental subsidies and 808 clients received local rental subsidies.
-The L.A. County Housing Authority provided $880,686 in incentives to landlords to help secure 403 housing units for disabled homeless adults/families with a federal rental subsidy.
-In growing numbers, multidisciplinary outreach teams have worked across the County to address the immediate needs of homeless residents and link them to programs and services.
-Countywide Benefits Entitlement Services Teams helped 5,703 disabled individuals with applications for -Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Veterans Disability Benefits.
-Homeless service providers added more than 1,000 new jobs across the region to bolster the delivery system. The County is supporting this rapid expansion through an online hub linking job seekers to non-profits at JobsCombattingHomelessness.org.
For more information on the county’s Homeless Initiative and Measure H, please visit homeless.lacounty.gov.