LA calls on Gov. Brown to declare homelessness a statewide emergency

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The city of Los Angeles is calling on Gov. Jerry Brown to declare homelessness a statewide emergency, a move that would free up additional state resources to combat the growing problem.

There are an estimated 28,000 homeless people in Los Angeles and 115,000 in California, officials say.

Brown's office already said earlier this summer he did not intend to declare homelessness as a statewide emergency, after the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors had called on him to do so.

Still, the Los Angeles City Council voted to support two measures in the state Legislature that urge Brown to declare the statewide emergency.

"We need real solutions to one of the biggest problems facing the residents of Los Angeles," said Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who chairs the council's Homelessness and Poverty Committee. "Our leaders in Sacramento have taken the huge step of authoring HR 56 and SR 84, and now we need to follow through and declare a state of emergency."

The City Council itself has already declared homelessness a city emergency.

The city budget also allocates $138 million to fight homelessness, with Mayor Eric Garcetti calling the issue one of his top priorities.

The city has also placed a $1.2 billion bond measure on the November ballot to to help fight homelessness, city officials said.

City News Service contributed to this report.
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