Following its Jan. 10 declaration of a countywide homeless emergency, the Board of Supervisors this week authorized its largest-ever annual budget allocation for the county’s Homeless Initiative—$609.7 million.
“Budgets reflect priorities and I’m pleased this year’s allocation includes funding our city partners so they have adequate resources to do their part,” Supervisor Kathryn Barger said in a statement following the vote. “I’ve consistently voiced my belief that municipalities know their communities best and can craft housing solutions developed and supported locally.”
According to the county, the 2023-24 funding allotment targets programs aimed at moving people out of homeless encampments and into housing, while also increasing mental health and substance-abuse services for the homeless.
The allocation is an 11% increase from the previous year, and includes funding to provide supportive services for 22,130 housing units, along with more than $60 million in rental subsidies to help quickly house newly homeless people. The funding also includes support for more than 5,000 interim housing beds to help move people out of encampments.
In addition to the Homeless Initiative allocation, the board also approved nearly $77 million to support a “Local Solutions Fund” available for cities to help with clearing encampments, an action plan specifically targeting housing for people on Skid Row and an effort to dismantle inoperable RVs that are being used as housing.