When a community comes together, incredible things can happen.

On October 30, key leaders in the civic, business, and philanthropic sectors came together to hear countywide updates on the fight against homelessness. Elise Buik, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Los Angeles, was joined by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Chairman of L.A. County’s Board of Supervisors, to discuss the state of homelessness in L.A. County and the unique role that United Way played in Measure H and Prop HHH and will play in its implementation.

“This isn’t a static reality,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “The issue of poverty is one that we’ve contended for a long time. It’s a very real and dynamic crisis.”

When the initiatives were placed on the ballot, 7 out of every 10 Angelenos voted favorably towards both. The community came together to give a voice to the voiceless and showed the nation that the issue of homelessness in L.A. County was urgent and tantamount. The passed initiatives put the issue on the forefront and offered pathways to viable solutions: funding for permanent supportive housing and supportive services for our most vulnerable neighbors.

So far, Prop HHH, has allowed for 625 affordable units to be approved, 416 of which are supportive housing for our most vulnerable neighbors. Measure H is moving forward quickly as well! A three-year funding plan was crafted by a committee of 50 stakeholders from across the county, and the funds are now flowing, thus significantly increasing the number of street outreach teams, crisis beds, and rental subsidies. For more updates, check out the H & HHH Fall Report.

But while the passage of Proposition HHH and Measure H just recently went into effect, we still have a long way to go in our mission to help our 57,000+ homeless neighbors get off the streets and into permanent supportive housing. With the support of the business community and government organizations -- and the implementation of these ground breaking initiatives -- L.A. County can continue to provide permanent housing and give people access to key services such as healthcare and job training.

“We can and will do well by the people of this county,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “But we need to do it with a sense of imagination and prudence. Homelessness is the largest issue we have to face as a community but together, we can all help improve the quality of life of our neighbors.”

Together, we can ensure that every child, family, individual, and veteran has a home to go to every night for years to come.

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