Today the LA County Board of Supervisors voted to declare a shelter crisis within the unincorporated portions of LA County. According to the LA Homeless Services Authority’s 2018 homeless count, more than 5,000 people were experiencing homelessness in County unincorporated areas.
The County is required to declare a shelter crisis in order to open the door for the LA Homeless Services Authority to apply for state Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) funding. The funding will be utilized to provide immediate emergency assistance to people experiencing homelessness, and to streamline certain permitting procedures that can slow construction. The HEAP Program will provide $500 million in one-time state funding for bridge housing and emergency services.
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, author of the motion, said, “This important funding will go a long way to cover costs for bridge housing and emergency services. The Homeless Services Authority has been working with community stakeholders for months to develop this request for $81 million to invest in interim housing, prevention and rapid rehousing strategies, and strengthening the Coordinated Entry System which manages the case information of every person experiencing homelessness in the County. State funding could be very helpful right now to fortify the efforts we began with Measure H funding a little over a year ago.”
In September, The County’s Homeless Initiative announced the results of its first year of Measure H-funded efforts to reduce homelessness. In Year One, 7,448 homeless families and individuals were placed in permanent homes, and 13,524 people were placed in crisis, bridge and interim housing.