Column: Could extreme heat be just what California needs to finally solve homelessness?
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors last week approved a $12.5 million emergency homeless shelter and transitional housing program created by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The plan, unveiled in May, aims to keep more than 500 homeless people permanently housed in apartments, according to Garcetti. The housing costs about $2 million per year.
“Over the past three years we’ve seen a rise in homelessness here in Los Angeles through a combination of factors,” Garcetti told the board at its May 27 meeting. “So this is a way of addressing the issue, providing more resources to the people who are experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles.”
That funding comes on top of an additional $1.5 million that will allow the Board of Supervisors to spend $3 million to build additional housing in the San Fernando Valley.
“The city will provide $1 million in emergency homeless funding to build a shelter and provide housing for about 500 chronically homeless individuals,” said Garcetti. “The housing would serve as transition housing for about 700 individuals and would include more than 15 beds. The remaining funding would provide about $1.5 million for the San Fernando Valley to build four additional homeless shelters and four transitional housing units.”
The new $12.5 million proposal is a “significant increase in resources compared to the previous estimates,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Times noted that the homelessness crisis was one area where Garcetti’s campaign promised to be very aggressive, and that in his first three years in office, the mayor doubled the number of homeless residents to more than 10,000.
“He’s been committed to expanding housing and employment opportunities for the homeless, he’s not afraid to reach out and find out what California is looking for,” Garcetti said a few months after the new funding was announced.
Meanwhile, the Times also reported that a $9.9 million allocation for the county’s homeless service providers is needed to reduce the amount of money given to those agencies to manage the crisis.
The Times also noted that in the past three years, the county has granted $24 million in tax credits to private companies that will