The Board of Supervisors voted to proclaim Friday, March 9, as Everyone In Day throughout Los Angeles County, to encourage everyone to take part in ending the crisis of homelessness.
Everyone In Day comes almost exactly a year after voters passed Measure H, which created an unprecedented funding stream dedicated to providing resources for the County’s strategies to end and prevent homelessness. It coincides with the launch of the Everyone In campaign led by United Way of Greater Los Angeles, with support from a coalition of philanthropic, business, labor, faith-based and community organizations. Everyone In is aimed at engaging and activating people across the county to help their most vulnerable neighbors obtain the services they need to build stable lives.
“Everyone In will create opportunities for education and engagement so that all of us can work together to help those who are as yet homeless in the restoration of their dignity and their purpose in life,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.
Homeless Initiative Director Phil Ansell said, “I’ve been consistently sharing a quote from the Buddha who said that a single candle can light a thousand others without diminishing itself. The launch of the Everyone In campaign will be a critical next step in continuing to grow the number of candles that are lit, and to increase the intensity of those burning candles as we work together to bring our homeless neighbors home.”
United Way President and CEO Elise Buik noted that in a recent survey commissioned by United Way, 69 percent of respondents from across the County said they would back supportive housing in their own neighborhoods. “The Everyone In campaign is really about harnessing and activating what we see as that silent majority who really want to be a part of the solution,” she said.
Though Measure H was approved in March 7, 2017, the County began collecting the revenue only on October 1, 2017. The County has been implementing a range of strategies to address homelessness, including expanding outreach, health and mental health services for persons living on the street; increasing the number of interim housing options with enhanced services; and rapidly deploying home-based support services for formerly homeless people who have moved into stable housing environments.
Thanks to the infusion of resources from Measure H, from July-December 2017, the expanded street outreach teams have connected with more than 7,500 people experiencing homelessness. Almost 3,000 people have been linked to essential services, and another 500 people have been safely moved indoors into temporary housing, including motels and recuperative care facilities. Meanwhile, almost 100 people have received their own keys to stable, affordable housing that includes support services.
And the County is still ramping up its efforts, creating about 1,000 jobs at its partner community-based organizations to help carry out the work.
Measure H is a 1/4-cent special sales tax that would generate approximately $355 million annually over a decade to help 45,000 families and individuals escape homelessness within five years, and prevent homelessness for 30,000 others.