A new front in Los Angeles County’s battle against homelessness was launched today with an innovative program aimed at encouraging cities across the region to join forces more strongly in confronting this escalating humanitarian crisis.
The county and the Home for Good Funders Collaborative — a joint initiative of United Way of Greater Los Angeles — are calling on cities to submit plans that would serve as a blueprint to combat homelessness both locally and regionally.
If approved by the collaborative, the cities would be given planning grants ranging from $30,000 to $70,000, depending on the number of homeless individuals within their jurisdictions.
The grants will be underwritten by a $2-million allocation from the Board of Supervisors as part of the county’s wide-ranging Homeless Initiative, which, in March, led to passage of Measure H. The voter-approved sales tax is expected to generate $355 million a year to fund crucial services and programs to prevent and combat homelessness.
These multi-faceted efforts come at a time of intensely critical need. The recent 2017 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count revealed a 23 percent increase in homelessness over the previous year — a total of 58,000 homeless people across the county.
“Homelessness honors no municipal boundaries and neither should we in our fight against it,” said Board Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas. “This crisis demands keen focus by all 88 cities in the county working collaboratively.”
The county’s homeless action plan is built on the premise that only a regional approach to the problem can reverse the rising numbers. Individual cities, as well as service providers and other stakeholders, played an essential role in helping the county craft 47 strategies approved by the Board of Supervisors last year to prevent and combat homelessness.
“Ninety-percent of our homeless neighbors live outside of Skid Row, which means that all cities in Los Angeles County are on the front lines in ending homelessness,” said Chris Ko, director of Homeless Initiatives at United Way of Greater Los Angeles. “The status quo isn’t working, and this is an exciting opportunity for cities to plan for a different future.”
All cities within the Los Angeles Continuum of Care are eligible to submit proposals. For more information, visit www.homeforgoodla.org/grantseekers. And for more on Los Angeles County’s Homeless Initiative, visit www.homeless.lacounty.gov.