The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors have approved a motion introduced by Supervisor Kathryn Barger and co-authored by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis that accelerates the county’s efforts to tackle homelessness by debuting a new regional approach to deliver solutions, cultivate collaboration and stimulate innovation.
Two new entities, deemed in the motion as an Executive Committee and a Leadership Table, will be formed in the coming days to that end. The Executive Committee will consist of nine members, including two L.A. County Supervisors, two elected representatives from the city of Los Angeles including the mayor, elected representatives from four municipalities representing regions specified in the motion, and a representative appointed by California’s Governor.
The complementary and more expansive Leadership Table will serve as an advisory body to the Executive Committee. Members will also harness private funding sources to support regional homelessness solutions. The Leadership Table will consist of representatives from various sectors, including but not limited to business, faith-based, advocacy, academia, people with lived experience, veterans, philanthropy and public housing authorities.
Speaking while on the dais during the Board of Supervisors meeting, Barger emphasized that the scope of work for the two new groups will not supplant the work of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, an entity that currently coordinates homeless services in the city and county of Los Angeles.
“Forming a regional approach to solving homelessness has been a long time in the making,” said Barger. “We have a lot of different organizations dedicated to helping our homeless but they’re working in silos. One thing has become increasingly clear to me: in order for homelessness solutions to work, we must work together. That’s what is unique about these two new groups. I believe we can accomplish an effective regional approach to solving what is happening on our streets. A lot of coordination is needed, including offering housing, treatment, and jobs. The Executive Committee and Leadership Table represent an opportunity for us to rethink our own bureaucracy and drive change. I’m excited.”
“Homelessness is a regional crisis,” said Solis. “Unfortunately, our existing homelessness governance structure does not give local cities a voice in how we address this emergency. That is why we need to move forward with the Executive Committee this motion proposes as it will bring all 88 cities together with the County of Los Angeles to break long-existing silos. Through this effort, we can come up with strategies, set tangible goals, and hold the system accountable to getting results for our residents. This Executive Committee has the potential to bring the region together and chart a new path forward.”
Mercedes Marquez, Chief of Housing and Homelessness Solutions for the city of Los Angeles, attended the Board meeting representing the city of Los Angeles mayor and shared her perspective on the value of these two new groups being formed by the county.
“The mayor believes if we all work together, we will have a clearer voice and sturdier platform from which to launch our homelessness solutions,” said Marquez. “We will have a clearer voice that we can use to speak to the federal government, state government and others. Unity of effort is needed as we seek to solve the most difficult problem of our generation,” she said.
A copy of the final amended motion approved unanimously by the Board of Supervisors is available here.