Homelessness by the district in South LA

Is Measure H helping?

Lisa Fitch OW Contributor | 7/11/2019, midnight

County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, saw a homeless increase of 16 percent in his supervisorial district over last year’s count. Forty-seven percent of the homeless there are Black.

“The data is stunning,” said Ridley-Thomas, who was a key proponent of 2017’s Measure H.

“We had hoped that things would be trending differently, but we will not ignore our realities,” Ridley-Thomas said. “This is a state that is the wealthiest in the nation, and, at the same time, it is the most impoverished.”

In April, the supervisor joined Mayor Garcetti and Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson in a groundbreaking ceremony for the first “A Bridge Home” facility in south L.A. It will provide beds and support for 100 homeless persons.

“Chesterfield Square and Hyde Park have long had many families and individuals living in cars and RVs,” Harris-Dawson said.

“This is the prime location to launch our first “A Bridge Home” facility to provide a safe and secure location to receive services while being connected to permanent housing.”

The district will soon include a Navigation Center, which will act as a one-stop shop in service provision, life skills training, counseling, laundry and restroom facilities -- all provided by the County through Measure H.

Harris-Dawson’s 8th District has a count of 2,597 homeless, 69 percent of whom are Black - up 46 percent from last year.

Of the total 4,455 homeless persons counted in the 9th Council District, 52 percent are Black. That’s an increase of 18 percent over last year’s Black homeless count.

“We have a disproportionate number of African American men in our jail system and living unsheltered on our streets,” Councilmember Curren Price said. “And we are fighting a tidal wave of people who are one pay check or illness away from being on the street. To stop the bleeding, we must be proactive, not reactive.”

Price’s 9th District encompasses most of downtown and south Los Angeles and was the first to open an “A Bridge Home” site, which is located near Olvera Street.

According to his office, Price is committed to carrying out solutions to help the homeless, including providing permanent and temporary housing facilities; expanding church programs which provide safe, overnight parking lots; adding mobile toilets, showers and hand washing stations; and supplying the community with additional LAHSA outreach teams.