Los Angeles County rolls out plan to tackle homelessness
Los Angeles County officials have released a plan to tackle homelessness, with a focus on keeping people from losing their homes in the first place.
The four dozen recommendations include developing detailed discharge plans for people coming out of jail, hospitals and foster care systems so they don’t wind up on the streets.
Also proposed: increasing subsidized housing and recruiting homeless people to get into entry-level jobs with the county, the region’s largest employer.
L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said that a key part to preventing homelessness is increasing people’s income and expanding affordable housing.
“Instead of standing under the bridge waiting for people to fall down into our arms, the county has decided to go up on the bridge and say, ‘What we can do to keep people from falling off?'" Kuehl said.
Kuehl called the plan comprehensive and "unprecedented" in terms of the county's commitment. It was developed under Phil Ansell, director of the county’s Homeless Initiative.
No dollar amount is attached to the plan. The strategies that would be pursued first would be decided by the Board of Supervisors after taking public comment in the coming weeks.
The plan is the result of 18 meetings held with homeless advocates and officials with the city of L.A., which was expected to also release a companion plan shortly.
The joint efforts follow a 2015 homeless count that showed the population had grown by 12 percent in both the city and county over two years.
County officials released their plan Thursday, the same day California Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled his proposed budget, which includes $20 million for community policing with groups such as homeless people and those with mental health needs. But state legislators say more money is needed for permanent housing for homeless people with mental illness, as well as rent subsidies and shorter-term housing.
You can read the county's full plan below: