Declaration of emergency, Inside Safe program
By City News Service
More than 4,000 Angelenos are expected to be housed through various efforts to address homelessness, Mayor Karen Bass announced in citing the effectiveness of the declaration of emergency and the Inside Safe program.
During a recent media presentation to provide an update on the ongoing crisis, Bass acknowledged the long-term efforts of the City Council and Los Angeles voters who passed Measure HHH to provide funding to address homelessness in the city, as well as state and federal programs.
Bass reported 1,336 individuals entered interim housing and 614 individuals found permanent housing as a result of Measure HHH, while about 775 people were housed through emergency vouchers, 1,000 people found rooms through the mayor’s Inside Safe program, 235 people found safe housing through master leasing and 94 veterans through Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers.
“We’re in a very specific area of red tape that we can ‘lock arms,’ you’ve heard that phrase from day one,’’ Bass said. “One of the things I wanted to see was a complete alignment of every level of government, and I’m excited to say that actually happened much quicker than I imagined.’’
Bass said her administration’s strategy includes Inside Safe, her plan to bring people inside from tents and encampments; an emphasis on pushing housing forward including closing funding gaps in housing developments; cutting red tape by eliminating bureaucratic obstacles in the way of providing housing; working alongside the city’s many partners; approving hundreds of acres of land across the city for development of affordable housing; and lastly, implementing ways to prevent homelessness such as new tenant protections.
Bass said her staff renewed a lease with the L.A. Grand Hotel to continue operation as temporary housing, where they will connect Angelenos with resources to permanent housing. Part of her strategy will be moving away from acquiring hotel spaces for temporary housing due to high costs to motel spaces, which will allow for a more immediate response to housing people away from their encampments.
Officials have initiated 13 operations across the city such as Sixth & Fairfax, Culver Median, Venice, and 99th & Flower. Those operations resulted in 62 homeless individuals placed in permanent supportive housing, 515 people brought inside to temporary housing, zero arrests and more than 150,000 pounds of waste removed from the encampments.
Bass said she believes the city will be able to house more residents partly due to the nature of the outreach that happens beforehand.
“Many of the outreach workers are well known by the time to move out on the bus,’’ Bass said. “There’s actually a relationship there. People are known by name and there is the belief that people didn’t trust where they’re moving. But that trust is built.’’
Bass noted that of the $50 million she requested from her declaration of emergency on homelessness, $4.4 million has been spent so far with $27 million to be spent on motels and resources for community-based organizations to provide case management and other services.