Confronting the crisis: an update on our progress to help homeless Angelenos

On August 26, 2019, Mayor Eric Garcetti hosted his second briefing on how the City of Los Angeles is confronting the homelessness crisis.

We are putting every available resource into getting people off the streets and under a roof as quickly as possible, helping homeless Angelenos rebuild their lives, and doing more to keep our streets and sidewalks clean and safe.
 


TEAMING UP, CLEANING UP

L.A.’s newly-created Skid Row Clean Team program employs 20 homeless and formerly homeless residents to provide trash pickup services at the epicenter of the homelessness crisis. This team has been deployed to the streets and sidewalks of Skid Row with a threefold mission: help clean up an area where extreme poverty cuts the deepest; train this workforce with vital skills in waste management, conflict resolution, and community engagement; and empower people in desperate need to experience the dignity of work and get on the road to self-sufficiency.

 


KEEPING OUR STREETS CLEAN AND SAFE

 

Beyond Skid Row, we are working harder to make all of our streets healthier and safer. In June, the City hired 47 new sanitation workers as part of a redeployment plan to clean our streets and sidewalks faster.

These new Comprehensive Cleaning and Rapid Engagement (CARE) teams will identify areas of highest need; provide daily trash collection, mobile restrooms, and public health services to encampments; and ensure that the hardest-hit neighborhoods receive hygiene services and regularly-scheduled cleanups.

Care TeamOur CARE crews will hit the streets citywide in October. But our pilot program is already underway in South Los Angeles in Council District 9. To get a sense of where and how this is going, we’re sharing what’s been accomplished after just one month, in a single district:

  • Making over 70 visits to encampments.
  • Removing 8.45 tons of waste from City streets, including 335 pounds of hazardous waste.
  • Connecting with 58 individuals experiencing homelessness and rendering services 189 times — from helping people recover birth certificates to handing out hygiene kits, bus tokens, and clothing.
  • Linking people to emergency shelters, mental health services, bridge housing, and employment resources 25 times.

Care Team Numbers


REACHING OUT TO PEOPLE IN DESPERATE NEED

On top of the outstanding work of our CARE pilot, our City-funded LAHSA outreach workers connected with more than 1,800 homeless Angelenos across Los Angeles last month — only a small fraction of the outreach conducted by County-funded personnel and resources.

Recently, the Mayor spent time with teams in Hollywood, the San Fernando Valley, South L.A., and Northeast L.A. by the banks of the L.A. River. Here are more of the results of their efforts in July:

July Outreach Numbers

  • Sanitation teams made 376 additional visits to encampments to ensure sidewalks were passable, and our crews removed 1,499 tons of solid waste from our communities.
  • We conducted 455 comprehensive cleanups at encampments. 
  • Our environmental compliance inspectors removed 3,028 needles from public spaces.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION: NEW ‘A BRIDGE HOME’ SHELTERS

Earlier this month, Mayor Garcetti cut the ribbon on a new A Bridge Homeshelter at the Downtown Women’s Center — making 25 beds and critical services available to women every night in Skid Row.

In the weeks ahead, we’ll nearly double the number of shelter beds available across the city, adding 100 at St. Andrews in South L.A.; 100 at Imperial in Watts; and 30 at Gardner in Hollywood. On top of that, six more sites have begun or are approaching construction — part of the total of 26 shelters we aim to open by the end of the fiscal year next July:

In Council District 7, we’ve begun construction on an 85-bed facility at 12860 Arroyo Street in Sylmar, to serve adult women.

In Council District 9, in early September, we will start building a 100-bed shelter at 2817 South Hope Street, to serve adult women and men.

In Council District 10, we’re in the final design and approaching construction at 625 Lafayette Place — with 70 beds for adult men and women from encampments in the Koreatown area.

In Council District 10, we’re in the final design and approaching construction at 1819 South Western Avenue, with up to 18 beds specifically for women-led families and single women.

 

In Council District 15, we’re in the final design and approaching construction at 828 Eubank Avenue— with 100 beds for adult women and men in the Wilmington area.

In Council District 15, we’re in the final design and approaching construction at 515 North Beacon Street — with another 100 beds for adult women and men in San Pedro.

 


HOUSING

In addition to building emergency shelters, one of the most important pillars of our long-term strategy is to open 10,000 new units of permanent supportive housing across Los Angeles.

There are now a total of 150 of these developments in the pipeline. That includes six new projects recommended for approval as part of our Housing Innovation Challenge — which sets aside $120 million in Prop. HHH funds to identify innovative housing production models and finance up to 1,000 new homeless housing units — all of which can be built in under two years. Recommended awardees are:

:

Restore Neighborhoods L.A., receiving $10 million to build 95 units for the chronically homeless, disabled, single and older adults with substance abuse and mental health challenges.

Daylight Community Development, receiving $23.8 million to add 132 units for chronically homeless individuals with co-occurring disorders.

Abode Communities, receiving $40 million to construct 360 units for chronically homeless individuals with co-occurring disorders.

Flyaway Homes, receiving $19.5 million to build 195 units for single adults.

Brilliant Corners, receiving $7 million to support 53 units to serve higher acuity adults age 26 or older.

Bridge Housing, receiving $19.7 million to build 140 units for formerly homeless families and transitional age youth.

Outside these developments, here are nine more supportive housing sites that are at least 40 percent complete:

In South L.A., 88th and Vermont is 78 percent complete. When it's finished, its 62 units will target very low-income families, young people, veterans, and households with special needs experiencing chronic homelessness.

In Rampart Village, PATH METRO Villas II is 52 percent complete, featuring 122 units for individuals living on the sidewalks of that community.

In Skid Row, the epicenter of this crisis, 649 Lofts is 45 percent complete, with 55 units designed to bring Angelenos inside.

In West Adams, Ybarra Village is 78 percent finished, with 64 units in the works.

In Westlake, 7th and Witmer Apartments is 73 percent done, with 76 units.  

In East L.A., 1st and Soto TOD Apartments Phase II is 53 percent done, with 29 units on the way.

And three developments are specifically designed to serve seniors and veterans:

Sun Valley Senior Veterans Apartments is 76 percent complete, with 96 units.

Westmore Linden Seniors Phase I in Pico Union is 75 percent ready, with 93 units.

The Pico Robertson Senior Community is 51 percent complete, with 48 units.

Altogether, that’s 645 units designed to serve the most vulnerable Angelenos. And that’s only the beginning — as the City, the County, builders, and service providers work round-the-clock to expand housing for our homeless neighbors.


FAST RESPONSE

IMG_1486A email

Before arriving at yesterday’s briefing, Mayor Garcetti toured Skid Row with a Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Fast Response Vehicle team that delivers urgent care to local residents and connects those struggling with addiction with a nearby sobering center. We’re already seeing results: the Fast Response Vehicle covering Skid Row has responded to 996 incidents this year, averaging 12 engagements each day it’s in the field. 

And there’s more in the works: we are looking to expand this program to the Valley and South L.A. and will soon unveil two Advance Provider Response Units in the Valley — converted ambulances with modern point-of-care testing and patient referral capabilities, led by medical professionals and firefighters with public health training.


ADVOCACY

The City of Los Angeles is dedicating every available resource to solutions to this crisis. But decades of disinvestment by the state and federal governments have contributed to this crisis — and we know that state and federal partnership can help us solve it. 

With the state legislature in the final weeks of its session for the year, the Mayor has called for the passage of three bills:

  • Assemblymember Chiu's measure — AB 1482 — to protect renters from skyrocketing costs and unfair evictions.
  • Assemblymember Santiago's legislation — AB1197 — to provide a blanket CEQA exemption for all HHH-funded supportive housing, our A Bridge Home sites, and all state-backed shelters.
  • Senator Mitchell’s proposal — SB 329 — to strengthen protections for low-income residents by expanding anti-income discrimination provisions for Section 8 and other vouchers across California

497A8398A

We also remain focused on Washington D.C. In July, Congresswoman Karen Bass led several members of the Congressional Black Caucus on a visit to Skid Row.

In mid-August, Chairwoman Maxine Waters led a field hearing of the Financial Services Committee, where Mayor Garcetti asked Congress to pass:

Please contact your representatives in Sacramento and Washington D.C. and make your voices heard on these vital pieces of legislation. You can look up your state representatives here, and you can find contact information for your federal representatives here.

As Los Angeles rises to this unprecedented challenge of confronting our homelessness crisis, we will continue to let you know how we are doing and how you can help.

Please visit our website to find out how you can join our work to help our homeless neighbors.