After two months of discussions at the City of Los Angeles’ Homeless and Poverty Committee to review four reports on homelessness governance drafted by the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA), the City of Los Angeles’ Chief Legislative Analyst, the County of Los Angeles’ Chief Executive Office, and The Committee For Greater LA, respectively, Committee Chair and Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas introduced a proposed plan to unify City and County efforts to end homelessness.

“The bottom line for me is this: if we are to be successful at meaningfully abating homelessness, the multiple institutions and jurisdictions responsible for responding to this civic and moral crisis must be aligned on the mission, goals and outcomes. However, if we are going to take an honest look in the mirror, we know that is simply not the case in Los Angeles. We need to do a hard reset to ensure we are aligned with our key partner, the County of Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles Councilmember Ridley-Thomas.

Research shows that there are approximately 41,000 people experiencing homelessness in the City of Los Angeles – representing over 60% of the crisis across the County at large. Although significant resources have been dedicated toward helping our unsheltered residents, for every 207 persons housed each day, another 227 fall into homelessness anew each day, in Los Angeles.

This motion calls for the designation of City and County policy and finance experts to create a LA City/County Reimagining Homeless Governance Action Plan (“The Plan”), with a four-fold purpose:

  • Establish a clear mission and goals, and uniform metrics for measuring progress.
  • Provide recommendations on immediate operational changes – with a specific initial focus on establishing a unified Street Engagement and Outreach Strategy.
  • Provide recommendations on an updated governance framework, which includes specific updates to the Joint Powers Agreement with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority; and
  • Advance updates to the City’s Homeless Strategies, in alignment with the County’s Homeless Initiative Strategies.

“We need more direct, mutually-accountable and transparent discussions between the leadership at the City and County on this issue to scale up our response and transition our unhoused neighbors off the streets. It would be my expectation that through this process, we can operationalize this with an urgency that is long overdue,” said Councilmember Ridley-Thomas. “I look forward to working with all entities involved and doubling down on this imperative work to establish a Right To Housing and ameliorate this unacceptable crisis.”

The proposed plan, which was seconded by Los Angeles Councilmember Monica Rodriguez, and supported by the other members of the Homelessness and Poverty Committee, now proceeds as a package of governance recommendations to the full City Council for consideration.

Submitted by Ariana Drummond, Deputy for Communications and Civic Engagement Office of Councilmember Ridley-Thomas