Assembly Bill 639 (the Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Act) would help adapt California’s resources to better meet the changing dynamics of its Veteran population. While still preserving a portion of money intended to assist Veterans who wish to purchase single family homes, AB 639 would allow voters to decide on redistributing $600 million to focus on rehabilitating multifamily Veterans’ housing. By focusing on Veterans who are at risk for or who are currently homeless, this bill will help meet the growing demand among California’s Veterans for multifamily and supportive housing. These proven and cost-effective models decrease public costs and provide a wider range of housing options more representative of California’s Veteran population.
California leads the nation with 19,000 homeless Veterans – nearly one-fourth of the country’s entire population. Let’s move our state from being the country’s leader in number of homeless Veterans to a trailblazer in helping reach the national goal of ending Veteran homelessness by 2015!
A fact sheet and sample letter of support for the bill can both be obtained HERE. Please join us in supporting this important bill, and the brave men and women who risk their lives every day for our country.
Help create a healthcare system that maximizes our resources and meets everyone’s healthcare needs – endorse Assembly Bill 361!
Nearly half of California’s Medi-Cal funds are spent on 4% of the population. The funds spent on these “frequent users” are often the result of reoccurring emergency room visits and a lack of available in-home care. Rising healthcare costs, coupled with a lack of appropriate care for California’s most vulnerable residents (including many chronically homeless individuals), have continuously been a problem for the state.
AB 361 promises to alleviate the burdens on our healthcare system through comprehensive healthcare services. The bill will allow California to provide “health home services” – such as outreach services, intensive case management, hospital discharge planning, and connection to social services – that have been proven to improve health outcomes and lower healthcare costs for the “frequent users” and chronically homeless populations. Furthermore, it will not cost the state a dime, but will be paid for by a combination of federal, county, and private investment funds (including a two-year commitment from the California Endowment to fund the entire non-federal share of the costs for the Health Home program).
Let’s lower state healthcare costs, bring more federal resources to the state, and, most importantly, improve healthcare services for those who need them the most! We hope you will join us in supporting this important legislation, and add your organization’s name and voice to helping this bill become a reality.
Company and organizational endorsements for the bill are currently being collected by its author, Assembly Member Holly Mitchell. These endorsements are critical to demonstrating Californians’ support for the bill. A sample letter of support for AB 361 can be downloaded HERE!
Last month, over 5,000 volunteers participated in the 2013 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count! Led by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), this countywide effort was the largest count in the history of Los Angeles County, with 72 cities and 21 communities opting to be fully enumerated.
The Homeless Count is over - what’s next? Numbers for the count will be released in mid-summer. As the homeless capital of the United States, these numbers are especially critical for L.A., ensuring that resources are available and services are effectively reaching those most in need. Count numbers will provide updated data on our homeless population, helping Home For Good refine the Action Plan’s strategy by highlighting regions of greatest need. By knowing where our homeless neighbors reside we will be able to better target cities for engagement, working to ensure that every community is dedicating resources to house homeless individuals in their jurisdiction.
Now that you have volunteered for the Homeless Count, how can you stay involved?
- Share feedback about your volunteer experience by taking LAHSA’s online survey! This will help LAHSA improve LA County’s Homeless Count, assuring successful volunteer recruitment and accurate data in the years to come.
- Address homelessness in your community by hosting a “community conversation.” This is an opportunity to invite people in your neighborhood to learn about the causes and solutions to homelessness, connect with a local service provider, and advocate for change. If you are interested in hosting a community conversation, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Participate in the pilot Home For Good companionship program. This program is aimed at providing social supports for formerly homeless individuals now living in permanent housing and, if successful, will be expanded throughout Los Angeles County. We need volunteers for the pilot program. If you are interested in being part of this wonderful opportunity please fill out an application by clicking here.
For more ways to stay involved, visit Six Ways to Get Involved With Home For Good.
More than 130,000 people are homeless on any given night in California. Many others spend over 30% of their income on housing. Every day, thousands of families, veterans, former foster youth, people with disabilities and seniors struggle to obtain and maintain a roof over their heads. California needs more affordable housing. How can we help assure that we have the resources we need to create affordable housing?
This year Housing California and the California Housing Consortium, along with a diverse coalition of housing advocates, are leading an effort to adopt the California Homes and Jobs Act. What will the CA Homes and Jobs Act help achieve? The proposed bill will generate an estimated $500 million in annual revenue for direct investment in affordable homes and jobs, and leverage an additional $2.78 billion in federal, local, and private funding. How will the CA Homes and Jobs Act generate funds? The bill will place a $75 fee on the recordation of real-estate related documents — excluding home sales — and deposit these funds into a state housing trust fund. The revenue will be invested into public-private partnership programs modeled on California’s existing, successful affordable home programs.
California desperately needs a permanent, ongoing source of funding dedicated to affordable housing development! The California Homes and Jobs Act will be introduced on February 20th. Company and organizational endorsements for the bill are currently being collected. These endorsements are a powerful way to communicate support for the bill. Endorsements can be made by visiting www.californiahomesandjobsact.org.
We hope you will join us is support of this important legislation and add your organization’s name to the coalition that is being built to support this effort.
Yesterday, hundreds of people came together to voice their opposition to the proposed Community Care Facilities Ordinance (CCFO). In a huge victory for the Stop CCFO Coalition, city council withheld a vote and established a working group to revise the ordinance. The working group is scheduled to report back in 90 days, making necessary changes to eliminate the negative impacts initially set forth under the CCFO.
“This is a major win, against tremendous odds, for the thousands of responsible, courageous Angelenos who rely on shared housing,” said Elise Buik, CEO of United Way of Greater Los Angeles. “We thank the city council for recognizing the seriousness of this issue and for agreeing to develop an alternative ordinance that strengthens enforcement at nuisance properties while protecting housing for the city’s most vulnerable residents.”
The Stop CCFO Coalition, which continues to grow and now includes more than 160 organizations, packed city council chambers this yesterday morning. Speakers opposing the CCFO included Maria Elena Durazo (County Federation of Labor), Anne Williams (Central City Association) and Marqueece Harris-Dawson (Community Coalition), all of whom drew thunderous applause from the crowd. Councilmembers Richard Alarcon and Bill Rosendahl spoke out passionately against the current draft of the ordinance.
Thank you to all that have fought against the CCFO. Yesterday was a testament to the power of collaborative work and the strength of the Stop CCFO Coalition!
Stop CCFO Coalition – Press Release
The Community Care Facilities Ordinance (CCFO) is scheduled to be heard before City Council this Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at Los Angeles City Hall.
The CCFO threatens shared housing in the City of Los Angeles, an option used by thousands to make housing affordable. The CCFO puts people at risk of losing their homes and ending up on our streets. Los Angeles is already the homeless capital of the nation; we need to find ways to end this problem, not make it worse!
In preparation for Wednesday’s hearing, the StopCCFO Coalition is calling for supporters to take the following actions:
1) CALL YOUR COUNCILMEMBER. Call-in days, Monday, January 28th and Tuesday, January 29th from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Please call your councilmember and urge him/her to vote NO on CCFO. You can also email your councilmember by clicking here and using the United Way of Greater Los Angeles advocacy page.
2) ATTEND RALLY AT CITY HALL. On Wednesday, January 30th, before entering the Council Chambers, the StopCCFO Coalition will hold a rally at 9:00 AM on the South Side of City Hall (200 N Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90012). RSVP on Facebook.
3) TESTIFY IN FRONT OF COUNCIL. Tell councilmembers that we need more affordable housing options in the City of Los Angeles, not less! Express your opposition to the CCFO by completing a comment card as soon as you enter the Council Chambers at City Hall, Room 340.
Below you will find a list of districts and councilmembers in the City of Los Angeles. If you do not know your councilmember, click here to use your address to identify your representative.
Councilmembers and their contact information:
District 1: Ed Reyes (213) 473-7001
District 2: Paul Krekorian (213) 473-7002
District 3: Dennis P. Zine (213) 473-7003
District 4: Tom LaBonge (213) 473-7004
District 5: Paul Koretz (213) 473-7005
District 6: Tony Cardenas (213) 473-7006
District 7: Richard Alarcon (213) 473-7007
District 8: Bernard Parks (213) 473-7008
District 9: Jan Perry (213) 473-7009
District 10: Herb J. Wesson Jr. (213) 473-7010
District 11: Bill Rosendahl (213) 473-7011
District 12: Mitchell Englander (213) 473-7012
District 13: Eric Garcetti (213) 473-7013
District 14: Jose Huizar (213) 473-7014
District 15: Jose Buscaino (213) 473-7015
This week, the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count will be conducted. This countywide effort, led by Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority every two years, relies on over 5,000 volunteers, like you, to collect accurate information on L.A.’s current homeless population. As the homeless capital of the United States, this count is especially critical for L.A., ensuring that resources are available and services are effectively reaching those most in need. Join us in working to end homelessness by signing up as a Count volunteer today!
Over 1,000 volunteers are still needed for this year’s count! Volunteers will give 3-5 hours of their time one (or more) nights to support the count. They will serve as counters, trainers, deployment center coordinators, and more. Volunteers can sign up as individuals, groups, or teams, selecting the day and site that works best for them. Volunteers are still needed for the following service areas:
- Tuesday, January 29, 2013 (8PM) – San Gabriel Valley, East/Southeast LA
- Wednesday, January 30, 2013 (8PM) – South Bay
For descriptions of volunteer roles, frequently asked questions, and to SIGN UP as a volunteer, visit www.theycountwillyou.org!
Your COUNT will ensure they COUNT! So can we COUNT on you to volunteer this January?
Yesterday’s Stop CCFO press conference was featured in today’s Daily News. Here is what the newspaper had to say,
“A coalition of religious and community leaders joined housing advocates on Thursday in opposing a measure that would place strict regulations on boarding houses throughout the city.
Calling itself the STOP CCFO (Community Care Facilities Ordinance), the group began a lobbying campaign urging city officials to change or reject Councilman Mitch Englander’s proposal.
“If this goes ahead as it is written, it will take us back to 1955 when redlining was the rule,” and minorities were barred from living in certain neighborhoods, said Greg Spiegel, director of public policy of the Inner City Law Center. “
The article goes on to quote Jason Mandel of United Way who states,
“…the problems with the policy are seen by the different groups that oppose it.
“When the Central City Association, L.A. Chamber, AFL-CIO, homeless advocates, and 19 neighborhood councils are all on the same side of a policy battle, it says a lot about how flawed the policy is,” Mandel said.
“By eliminating a significant chunk of affordable housing, the ordinance would force people onto the streets … and would take housing away from veterans, the elderly who can’t afford to live anywhere else and can’t live independently and the disabled.” “
Read the full article
This morning the Stop CCFO Coalition held a press conference on the steps of Los Angeles’ City Hall. Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr., Rabbi Jonathan Klein, Pastor Lewis Logan and various interfaith leaders, veterans, and advocates for seniors, disabled and homeless individuals protested Councilmember Englander’s proposed “Community Care Facilities Ordinance” which would force thousands of vulnerable people out of their homes and violate civil rights. The morning’s speakers invoked the memory of the late Reverend Martin Luther King, who fought tirelessly to protect the civil liberties of all individuals, arguing that the CCFO would be a retroactive step to progress made during the Civil Rights Movement.
Rabbi Jonathan Klein, a member of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE L.A.), told the crowd that the CCFO “is an economic justice issue. If we do not insure that people have access, which is a matter of economics, to housing we are going to find that all the struggles people have are going to be exasperated by being in the streets and by being socially isolated from one another.” He went on to say that, “on the most spiritual level, any pathway to recovery of peoples challenges and minds…requires removing the social isolation, the loneliness, the vaporization to their relationship to this world. The CCFO would do just the opposite.”
Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr., a civil rights leader who worked side by side Dr. Martin Luther King from 1956 to 1968, concluded the press conference by expressing his disappointment that, as we near the celebration of Dr. King’s birthday, the legislature is considering an “ordinance that is contrary to the best this country is supposed to represent; that is contrary to the best interest to the people of Los Angeles.”
Following the press conference advocates visited the offices of all Los Angeles City Councilmembers, urging them to protect affordable housing options and residential choice for thousands of low-income individuals.
If passed the CCFO will restrict shared housing in single family neighborhoods, an option almost 50,000 Los Angelenos use to make housing affordable. HELP STOP THE CCFO. Keep up to date with the latest news regarding the CCFO by visiting www.stopccfo.org. You can also message your representatives directly by clicking here to utilize United Way’s advocacy page.
Together we can protect affordable housing in the city of Los Angeles!
Affordable housing in the City of Los Angeles is in danger! The proposed Community Care Facilities Ordinance threatens to eliminate affordable housing options for thousands of low income households in the city. The CCFO restricts shared housing in single family neighborhoods, an option almost 50,000 Angelenos use to make housing affordable. This puts thousands of people at risk of homelessness.
What can you do to stop the CCFO? The majority of Los Angeles City Councilmembers are currently undecided on the CCFO. However, the ordinance is coming up for a vote soon. This Thursday, January 10th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., housing advocates will be organizing a “Lobby Day” to reach out to councilmembers and ask them to take a stance against the CCFO.
WE NEED YOUR HELP. Please join us as we visit Los Angeles councilmembers at City Hall and ask them to protect affordable housing in the City of Los Angeles. If you are able to spend the entire day, or just a couple of hours, visiting your representatives, please email Alisa Orduña at email@example.com.
Can’t make it to Lobby Day? Keep up to date with the latest news regarding the CCFO by visiting www.stopccfo.org. You can also message your representatives directly by clicking here to utilize United Way’s advocacy page.
Everyone has the right to a home. Stop CCFO!