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LA County Invests in Emergency Response to Homelessness

LA County Invests in Emergency Response to Homelessness 1024 300 COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

February 6, 2024
Christina Villacorte, Los Angeles County Homeless Initiativecvillacorte@ceo.lacounty.gov, 213-330-6757

LA County Invests in Emergency Response to Homelessness

Board of Supervisors Approves Homeless Initiative Spending Plan to Provide Urgently Needed Housing, Outreach, Services, and Critical Programs

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a $783 million spending plan for the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative (CEO-HI) in fiscal year 2024-25 that sustains and expands the County’s existing homeless services system and ramps up the homelessness emergency response while investing in critical programs.

The plan includes $662.3 million for homelessness prevention, outreach, interim housing, permanent housing, and supportive services – all essential elements of the homeless services system – plus an additional $120.7 million to support Pathway Home and other critical projects necessary to scale up and fast-track the County’s homelessness emergency response. This spending plan will be funded with $587.2 million in anticipated voter-approved tax revenue; $140 million in additional County funds, and $55.8 million in State Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention (HHAP) grant dollars.

Pathway Home leverages emergency powers and partnerships with local jurisdictions to bring people out of encampments and into immediately available interim housing accompanied by a comprehensive suite of supportive services and, ultimately, into safe, permanent homes. The spending plan also earmarks funding for critical projects, such as the Skid Row Action Plan, and specialized outreach to address recreational vehicle (RV) encampments and those in high fire severity zones in unincorporated communities. This amount also includes opiate treatment, harm reduction, and other efforts to reduce the mortality rate among people experiencing homelessness.

Budget Highlights

  • 38 Pathway Home encampment resolution operations projected to serve 1,800 people and remove at least 300 unsafe RV encampments from roadways.
  • $311.5 million for permanent housing and supportive services.
  • $240.7 million for interim housing beds to bring people indoors as quickly as possible.
  • $65.5 million to deploy specialized outreach and engagement teams to help people living in the streets, or who are poised to leave jail settings, by providing medical care, behavioral health supports and connections, and link them to housing and services.
  • 8,332 locally funded rental subsidies, a 65% increase over last fiscal year, to quickly permanently house people who have recently become homeless.
  • Wraparound services for nearly 27,500 people placed in permanent housing, over 24,000 of whom are in supportive housing and have complex needs such as chronic medical and/or behavioral health conditions.
  • Supporting nearly 5,000 households to identify housing in the private rental market through efforts such as landlord engagement, move-in assistance, security deposits and new innovations, such as master leasing.
  • $40.5 million to strengthen the County’s collaboration with cities and Councils of Government (COGs) in resolving encampments and co-investing in housing as well as increases in compensation rates for nonprofit organizations contracted to provide interim housing, case management, and other services.

This spending plan was created with input from community members and stakeholders who participated in over 17 Listening Sessions that drew 600 attendees in October and November 2023. Feedback was also solicited from County departments, agencies and nonprofit organizations that constitute the County’s homeless services system, people with lived expertise, residents from each of the County’s eight service planning areas, Spanish language speakers, and cities and COGs.

County Leaders Respond

“Los Angeles County’s investment in homelessness reflects the magnitude of our commitment to meet the crisis with the urgency it requires,” said Board Chair Lindsey P. Horvath. “Funding for families, LGBTQ+ youth, veterans, and small cities are all included as we tailor our services to meet the needs of unique communities and expedite solutions to improve the lives of our unhoused neighbors.”

“Since people with the most complex health and behavioral challenges make up the fastest-growing segment of our homeless population, it’s imperative that we continue to invest in helping them come inside,” added Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “Not only are we investing in proven solutions, but we’re also innovating and providing our frontline workers and partners additional resources to respond urgently to the needs of our unhoused neighbors.”

“The County’s Pathway Home is demonstrating to be a game changer for bringing people into homes and out of makeshift structures, tents, and RVs,” Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell said. “The adopted budget strategically invests in what works for housing and supportive services, such as mental health and substance use disorder treatments. The County’s intentional investment in the highest impacted communities and people will help turn the tide on ending chronic homelessness.”

“The Homeless Initiative spending plan will help expedite urgent, extraordinary action to address the emergency on our streets while preventing more people from becoming homeless in the first place,” Supervisor Janice Hahn said. “By leveraging our emergency powers and collaborating more closely than ever with local, state and federal partners, we hope to continue moving towards a Los Angeles County where everyone has a place to call home.”

“With this spending plan, we are putting more resources than ever before into helping people in encampments move indoors equipped with support services so they can stay housed, and urgently increasing our supply of housing,” stated Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “I’m pleased the plan also increases our County’s support of cities’ local efforts to address homelessness, just as the Blue Ribbon Commission on Homelessness recommended.”

“This spending plan builds on the momentum created under the local emergency and scales up our efforts to bring more people off the streets, move them into permanent housing and keep them housed,” said Chief Executive Officer Fesia Davenport. “With better coordination with our municipal partners and investments in solutions we know make a difference, LA County is urgently putting its resources to work to solve this crisis.”

About the Homeless Initiative and Measure H

The Board’s emergency declaration on January 10, 2023 tasked the Homeless Initiative with coordinating the County’s emergency response.

The Homeless Initiative funding recommendations represent a significant portion, but not all, of the County’s investments to address and prevent homelessness, which also include the mainstream work of the County Departments of Health Services, Mental Health, Public Health, Public Social Services, and several other agencies.

The Homeless Initiative administers funding from Measure H, a quarter-cent sales tax approved by over two-thirds of County voters in 2017 to create the first revenue stream dedicated to addressing and preventing homelessness. It also administers HHAP grant dollars, $114 million in Housing and Homeless Incentive Program funding (HHIP) over five years, plus an annual $100 million Affordable Housing (AH) Program Budget which, along with other funding sources, supports the creation and preservation of affordable housing, and other activities. HHIP and AH funding are separate from the spending plan released today.

In the six-and-a-half years since Measure H was enacted, the County’s commitment to addressing the homelessness crisis has resulted in more than 104,000 people finding permanent housing, more than 143,000 placements into interim shelter, and 31,500 people prevented from becoming homeless in the first place.

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