Recently, we received the results of the annual Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count and unfortunately, our numbers are up 12% in Los Angeles County for a total of 58,936 people experiencing homelessness. Any type of increase is disheartening, and we feel for those impacted. Yet there are reasons to be hopeful:
1) The City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County have dedicated, local sources of funding.
Unlike many cities and counties, Los Angeles City and County have dedicated, local sources to tackle this issue. Our neighboring counties saw the following increases:
- Orange County - 42%
- Ventura County - 28%
- San Bernardino County - 23%
In fact, without Measure H, our increase would have been an estimated 28%.
2) Homelessness is a top priority.
Sacramento and Governor Newsom have made this issue a priority and are working to deploy more dollars and innovations to help people get off the street faster. Supervisor Ridley-Thomas was recently named the Co-Chair of the statewide homeless taskforce. After decades of insufficient investment, we are ramping up and this will serve our communities for the future.
3) There is growing consensus now that homes end homelessness.
We are seeing greater attention and focus on addressing our lack of affordable housing at the local level and in Sacramento. Rents are up 32% since 2000 and our housing crisis is our homeless crisis.
4) Homes are being built.
More people are being placed into housing than ever before and this will substantialy ramp up over the next three years. Our first HHH-funded building opened last week providing services funded by Measure H. We have 6,500 units that will come on-line and be a home for people to come in off the streets. We also placed more than 21,000 people into permanent supportive housing in 2018, a 31% increase over the prior year.
So, while we are disheartened by the increase, we are building a strong foundation to dig out of decades where we did not invest in this issue. More than 80,000 county residents have joined in at www.everyoneinla.org to be part of the solution. This active involvement of neighborhoods throughout the county saying “YES” is what will make the difference. Thank you for your continued commitment, involvement and leadership. Together, we will bring Everyone In.