It has been 15 months since the Measure H quarter-cent sales tax began supporting a major expansion of countywide homelessness programs. These services include outreach, emergency shelter, rapid re-housing, supportive housing, and benefits advocacy for homeless disabled adults. In this short period of time, thousands of people have received much-needed help — including 9,635 homeless families and individuals who are now in permanent housing. During the same period, 18,714 people found a safe place to sleep due to short-term crisis, bridge and interim housing.
Other measurable progress due to Measure H includes:
- Connecting to benefits: 8,479 disabled individuals received assistance with applications for SSI and Veterans Disability Benefits. 4,165 clients were linked to new Intensive Case Management Services for permanent supportive housing. Of those, 1,717 received federal rental subsidies and 1,604 clients received local rental subsidies
- Partnering with providers: The County provided $1,802,988 in incentives to landlords to help secure 757 units for housing voucher recipients
- Boots on the ground: More than 350 Measure H-funded outreach workers, including members of 36 multidisciplinary outreach teams, are now working across the County
- Hiring vs. homelessness: As of September, homeless service providers have filled almost 1,500 new jobs across the region
Since the November 2016 passage of the $1.2 billion Prop HHH in the City if LA, more than two dozen facilities totaling 617 housing units have been funded, including 417 permanent supportive housing units and 187 affordable housing units. Additionally, the City of Los Angeles has launched A Bridge Home, designating city-owned real estate to help people come off the streets more quickly. A Bridge Home has already opened sites in Hollywood and Downtown.
The progress report accompanied the launch of the call for volunteers for the 2019 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, which LAHSA will conduct from January 22-24, 2019.
“Every year, Los Angeles County residents by the thousands spend a couple of January nights walking the streets where too many of our homeless neighbors live,” said Peter Lynn, Executive Director of LAHSA. “These efforts help us recognize the scale of our crisis and the specifics of our fellow Angelenos’ lives. And they come on top of admirable work throughout the years to lessen those neighbors’ burden—whether by showing up to support locating affordable and bridge housing in their communities, helping win new resources to address this crisis at scale, or helping their fellow Angelenos with donations and care.”
LAHSA’s 2018 Homeless Count revealed that for the first time in years homelessness had begun to fall, decreasing by 4 percent to 53,195,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “However, data also suggests that more and more Angelenos are falling into homelessness due to record housing prices and other factors, even as our efforts to curb homelessness are gaining traction. Continuing to gather data through methods like LAHSA’s Homeless Count will prove to be a crucial tool in measuring the continued success of Measure H and Prop HHH.”
Thousands of volunteers sign up to join the Homeless Count every year, reaching 8,500 in 2018. Volunteers receive training and walk designated areas in small groups. LAHSA accompanies the street count with institutional counts, demographic surveys, a youth count, and statistical analysis in partnership with the University of Southern California. Volunteer registration for the 2019 Homeless Count is live at www.theycountwillyou.org.