- Los Angeles has received its full $85 million allotment from California's Homeless Emergency Assistance Program and immediately directed a portion of the money toward two homelessness mitigation projects.
- One project in Hollywood will receive $1.67 million to create 70 beds for people in a nearby encampment. It broke ground two weeks ago and is expected to open early next year. The other project, at a Veterans Administration campus in West Los Angeles, will receive $1.43 million to provide 100 beds for veterans experiencing homelessness. That project is expected to break ground soon and open early next year. Both projects include mental health and addiction treatment, job placement and housing placement services.
- A chunk of at least $20 million will go toward helping the thousands of people who sleep in the Skid Row area, according to KNBC and others.
Los Angeles is among the West Coast cities struggling the problem of homelessness. Leaders view the worsening housing affordability crisis as a prime contributor, but they don't have any quick and easy solutions.
Like other cities, Los Angeles is tackling the issue through both housing and supportive services to help people experiencing homelessness get back on their feet, rather than just providing temporary housing.
L.A.'s Skid Row is a good place to target for a variety of reasons, mainly the sheer number of homeless people who stay there. Estimates vary, but that part of the downtown is believed to have between 5,000 and 8,000 homeless people at any given time. Public health concerns have cropped up over an accumulation of trash, rats and infections there. A portion of the funding infusion reportedly will go toward hygiene services for those on Skid Row.
All of the newly proposed projects are meant to provide temporary housing while the city works to build permanent supportive units, which were approved via a ballot measure two years ago. Municipalities including Chicago and King County, WA increasingly are trying to create permanent supportive housing to transition people out of homeless shelters and into affordable, long-term housing options.