Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose Fifth District includes the Santa Clarita Valley, released the following statement regarding the 2022 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count results provided by the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority. The full message below.
“LAHSA’s homelessness tally and finding that 39% of people experiencing homelessness reported experiencing serious mental illness or substance abuse are both guesstimates, at best.
I think both of these numbers are much bigger than what’s being reported. The California Policy Lab at UCLA, for example, found that the percentage of people experiencing mental health illness and substance abuse addiction is closer to 50%.
My perspective remains unchanged – housing, mental health support and addiction treatment must be provided if we’re going to make a meaningful dent in our homelessness crisis. Our County and local leaders must do more to increase both beds and services. Our solutions must take a whole person approach and equitably provide both housing and healing.
Although reducing homelessness may feel like a daunting task, I believe success is achievable if we tackle it by executing a thoughtful and methodical plan. Through the Blue Ribbon Commission on Homelessness I created, we’ve already defined some important next steps – such as giving cities more access to Measure H dollars so they can develop housing solutions for people experiencing homelessness and creating a County department dedicated to homelessness so we can step up our delivery of support services. We have a path forward.”