Wake up at 3 a.m. Get on public transportation and travel many miles to work. Work a 12-hour shift. Get on public transportation and travel many miles home. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.

That’s an example of the daily experience that many low-income individuals are forced to endure just to be able to survive in L.A. County. Often times, their annual take-home pay is less than the poverty threshold.

And yet despite fighting tooth and nail to support themselves and their families, 9,647 Angelenos — 18% of L.A. County’s total homeless population — reported falling into homelessness for the first time ever this year. Make no mistake: L.A. County’s homeless crisis is a housing crisis. We need more affordable and supportive housing, and we need it now.

That’s why United Way of Greater Los Angeles is in strong support of Propositions 1 and 2 on the November 6 ballot.

Both propositions are designed to support our most vulnerable neighbors and help bring them home.

Proposition 1 is asking Californians to authorize $4 billion in bond funds to build much-needed affordable homes for veterans, working families, people with disabilities, and seniors.

  • The funds would come directly from general obligation bonds, not a new tax.
  • California is experiencing an extreme affordable housing shortage, which is contributing to the rise of people reporting falling into homelessness for the first time.

Proposition 2 will earmark $2 billion from an already existing tax on high incomes in order to build supportive housing for mentally ill homeless individuals in L.A. County and across the state.

  • The existing tax was first approved by voters in 2004. Often called the “Millionaire’s Tax,” it takes 1% of all personal income over $1 million a year to fund mental health services, but not housing construction.
  • In L.A. County this year, 12,748 homeless individuals reported experiencing serious mental illness. 89% of them live on the streets.
  • Supportive housing is a proven solution to ending homelessness — especially for those experiencing mental illness because it combines the safety of a home with 24/7 access to medical treatment and other support services.

In the last two years, United Way of Greater Los Angeles, our partners, and our leaders across L.A. County have worked tirelessly to house more than 30,000 formerly homeless individuals.

By voting yes on Propositions 1 & 2, you can have a direct impact on our ability to bring even more people home.