The city of Los Angeles last week set aside $12.4 million to help house homeless persons and provide more temporary shelter during El Nino storms expected next winter.
Mayor Eric Garcetti and city council members said the funding includes $10 million for “rapid re-housing” subsidies for about 1,000 homeless persons to help them with rent or move-in costs. The remaining money will be used to increase shelter beds in the winter by more than 50 percent to total 1,300 beds. These beds will reportedly be targeted to those persons living in the Los Angeles River bed and in the Tujunga and Arroyo Seco washes.
“We will not be intimidated by the scale of this problem or listen to those who say it is intractable,” Garcetti said. “We must remain laser-focused on solving this crisis, both on the short-term fixes and long-term strategies that will keep our residents safe and off the streets.”
Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, co-chair of the Homelessness and Poverty Committee, said the $12.4 million is “just the beginning” of the money the city hopes to release to bring about structural change on Skid Row, in South L.A., the Westside and in the Valley. “We have to plug the hole and stop people from falling in to homelessness,” Harris-Dawson said.
Councilman Jose Huizar, committee co-chair, added that the funds are a “down payment” on the city’s $100 million commitment to fund a strategic plan to counter homelessness in Los Angeles. Some city leaders have called for a so-called “battle plan” for tracking homelessness. That report is expected to be released early next year and involve a partnership with the County of Los Angeles.