Confronting The Homelessness Crisis

“Ending homelessness happens one interaction at a time. The journey home starts with a human being extending their hand to an Angeleno in desperate need.”

Mayor Eric Garcetti

 

Mayor Garcetti has been working to solve the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles — which he calls “the moral and humanitarian crisis of our time” — since he began volunteering on Skid Row at the age of 14.

Since Mayor Garcetti took office, the City has housed more than 30,000 Angelenos; he has dedicated a record $431 million to homelessness services in his proposed 2018-19 budget; and the Mayor led the coalition that passed Proposition HHH, which will invest $1.2 billion to build up to 10,000 units of supportive housing over the next decade, and was a force behind the passage of Measure H — a countywide sales tax that will grow outreach, mental health, and other services for people in desperate need. The Mayor also fought for — and won — funding from the state’s budget surplus to help cities across California find, build, and expand housing for their homeless populations. This has brought Los Angeles $166 million in additional funding to bring our unhoused neighbors indoors.

The Mayor’s homelessness strategy centers on a three-pronged approach that focuses on 1) housing those who are currently homeless; 2) preventing recently-housed people from falling back into homelessness and non-homeless Angelenos from becoming homeless; and 3) using a street engagement strategy to open new bridge housing that gives unhoused Angelenos a temporary refuge on their path to permanent housing, expands outreach to unsheltered people to help them move indoors, and keeps our streets clean.

In addition to supportive housing and navigation centers, the Mayor is also creating new emergency bridge housing that delivers critical services to unsheltered Angelenos where they are. The first project is located in the El Pueblo neighborhood downtown. Known as El Puente, this bridge housing facility provides a safe refuge for the men and women experiencing homelessness in the immediate vicinity of the facility. The site provides homeless residents with access to shelter, storage, clean toilets, showers, and laundry facilities 24 hours a day and seven days per week.

Mayor Garcetti formed CENTCOM, which centers on a specialized homelessness task force — comprised of senior officials in the Office of the Mayor, the City Attorney’s Office, and City department leaders — on a mission to ensure that every department is engaged and accountable in the fight to end homelessness, and that we are using data to hone in on the specific needs of individual encampments. This includes exploring the use of City-owned lots as locations for creative models of interim housing, services and facilities — including temporary storage, temporary bridge housing, mobile hygiene stations, and housing navigation centers.

In March 2018, we launched the City’s first Homeless Help Desk — a permanent, welcoming space where Angelenos experiencing homelessness can access information on nearby shelters, hygiene stations, free meals, and medical assistance. The desk is staffed by members of Mayor Garcetti’s Volunteer Corps and participants in the Older Workers Employment Program — some of whom are themselves formerly homeless. With coordination from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s Homeless Engagement Teams, the space offers short-term relief to homeless residents, connects them to housing and supportive services, and acts as a link between unsheltered Angelenos and local service providers.