The Homeless Initiative is Los Angeles County’s massive effort to expand and enhance services for people who are homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless, largely financed through Measure H. It is part of the vast safety net that the County provides to people experiencing homelessness, which also includes medical treatment at County public hospitals, direct benefits under the County’s General Relief program, and more.
The Homeless Initiative includes $454.8 million raised through Measure H, ¼-cent sales tax approved by County voters in 2017 to pay for homeless prevention, street outreach, supportive services and employment, shelter, and housing. The remaining $72.3 million includes $14.8 million in federal stimulus funding, $29.4 million in state grants, and $28.1 million from other funding sources.
“Addressing homelessness requires a multi-faceted approach and understanding that every individual’s housing journey is unique,” shared Board Chair, Hilda L. Solis. “This year’s budget reflects the County’s continued efforts to address the root causes of homelessness and the implementation of preventive strategies to keep residents housed, especially as we emerge from a pandemic that disproportionately impacted low-income Black and Latinx residents.”
“Our commitment to ending our homelessness crisis requires sustained investments in immediate and long-term solutions,” Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell added. “The COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened the disparities our unhoused residents face, which is why I am proud to support this unprecedented allocation of funding that will go towards evidence-based solutions and interventions that are needed more than ever before.”
“Every year, over the last four years, we have dramatically scaled up the housing and services necessary to re-house those who are experiencing homelessness, and to end the inflow into homelessness caused by skyrocketing rents and evictions,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “I’m very happy to see us increase the funding going into these efforts for a fifth year. This crisis was decades in the making, and every year we are committed to making more progress in building the system that will solve it.”
Supervisor Kathryn Barger added, “As we continue to address the homelessness crisis, it is crucial that we consider the needs of all the cities and regions throughout the County. I am pleased to see the recommended Measure H budget allocates $5 million in funding to six Councils of Governments and member cities to support their own localized efforts to prevent homelessness and provide support for their most vulnerable residents. We must continue to work collaboratively with our cities and regions toward our shared goal of ending homelessness.”
Submitted by Christina Villacorte, Communications Director, Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative