LA County Board of Supervisors declare homelessness emergency, echoing Mayor Bass

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Wednesday, January 11, 2023
LA County Board of Supervisors declare homelessness emergency
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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to declare a homelessness emergency Tuesday, echoing Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass' emergency declaration.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to declare a homelessness emergency Tuesday, echoing Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass' emergency declaration that she made during her first days in office.

"By focusing on efficiencies and streamlining in hiring, contracting and procurement, we'll be able to get many more services out there and do it much more quickly," said Cheri Todoroff, Executive Director of the L.A. County Homeless Initiative.

However, past promises have not paid off. The most recent homeless counts show roughly 42,000 unhoused people are in the city of Los Angeles and more than 69,000 in L.A. County.

County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath, who sponsored the motion with Supervisor Kathryn Barger, said the declaration will provide the county with additional tools to accelerate hiring additional employees to address homelessness and mental health, and streamline creation of housing and services.

"When we work together with Mayor Bass, (Long Beach) Mayor Richardson and our regional partners... we will get people into housing for good, we'll get them the care they need and deserve and results for every community in L.A. County," Horvath said.

Even even more help may be on the way from the state.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom rolled out his budget for the upcoming fiscal year, and while he's projecting a $22.5 billion deficit, he not only says that the state will keep its promised $15.3 billion commitment to the homelessness crisis, but will add to it another $1 billion.

"People have just had it," Newsom said in his address Tuesday morning. "They want to see these encampments cleaned up. They're done. They're fed up. We've got money in encampment cleanups -- $750 million - we're not cutting a penny of that."

Mayor Bass praised the Supervisors' emergency declaration, saying more will get done to solve the crisis when the city and county work together.