LA County supervisors endorse Mayor Karen Bass' state of emergency on homelessness

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Wednesday, December 21, 2022
LA County supervisors endorse Bass' state of emergency on homelessness
The L.A. County Board of Supervisors endorsed Mayor Karen Bass' state of emergency on homelessness.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass campaigned on bringing a whole-of-government approach to solving homelessness, and she continued those efforts Tuesday by receiving the support of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors.

The board endorsed her state of emergency, and representatives from the county will now be part of the city's response, including the county departments of public health and mental health.

"Mayor Bass' mindset and determination are bringing a renewed vigor to a battle that we've all been fighting way too long," said Janice Hahn, the chairwoman of the board. "And we know this is not the city of L.A.'s problem to solve alone."

Hahn shared that some of the cities in her district are concerned the state of emergency could take homeless services away from them, but Hahn pushed back.

"The majority of people experiencing homelessness are in the city of Los Angeles," Hahn said. "Out of the nearly 70,000 people that are homeless in L.A. County, 42,000 are living in the city of Los Angeles."

Bass said substance abuse is one area where she believes not enough has been done and will look to the county for help.

"Back in the day when we had a much more robust substance abuse infrastructure, we had community-based programs, the counselors were people in recovery and you could stay in those programs for 12 months," Bass said. "And now you get 30 days, and I know it can be extended to 90 days - no one can get clean and sober who have been seriously addicted, for 90 days."

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released this year's homelessness assessment report and found that L.A. County represents about 11% of the country's homeless population, but just 3% of the total population.