Panel Releases Homeless Recommendations
The Bring L.A. Home panel -- a Los Angeles County public-private panel on homelessness -- made more than 200 recommendations for addressing homelessness in the county, including strategies for addressing homeless people with HIV and mental health problems, the AP/San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
According to a report released by the panel on Thursday, housing for homeless people in Los Angeles County will cost up to $15 billion over 10 years and require 50,000 new units of affordable housing (AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/7).
The report found that Los Angeles County annually spends $505 million on homeless services, including medical care and welfare. In addition, more than half of the homeless had visited a hospital emergency department within the past year.
The report recommends creating a homeless council to coordinate health and human services among county departments.
In addition, Los Angeles County supervisors on Tuesday approved a $100-million plan to establish five regional stabilization centers in an effort to prevent the "dumping" of homeless people by hospitals and jails in downtown Los Angeles (Anderson, Los Angeles Daily News, 4/6).
The report is available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to access the report.
The Los Angeles Times on Thursday published two letters to the editor addressing Los Angeles County's plans to reduce homelessness.
- Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich: Funding for homeless programs "must come from the departments of Health and Mental Health, not Public Safety," Antonovich writes. The plan to build regional centers "fails to mandate treatment for the mentally ill and drug- or alcohol-addicted," Antonovich says (Antonovich, Los Angeles Times, 4/6).
- Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) and City Council member Jan Perry: A "reinvigorated L.A. Homeless Services Authority ... is essential for success of" the regional homelessness plan, according to Villaraigosa and Perry. They add that "[o]therwise, it will prove impossible" to "tackle this issue successfully" (Villaraigosa/Perry, Los Angeles Times, 4/6).
Several broadcast programs reported on the Los Angeles homelessness plan:
- KCRW's "Which Way, L.A.?": Guests on the program include Michael Cousineau, visiting associate professor of research at the Division of Community Health Family Medicine at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine; Bob Erlenbusch, author of the plan and executive director of the Los Angeles Coalition to End Hunger and Homelessness; Mike Touhey, mayor pro-tempore of West Covina; and Zev Yaroslavsky, county supervisor (Olney, "Which Way, L.A.?," KCRW, 4/6). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.
- KPCC's "AirTalk": The segment includes comments from Rabbi Marvin Gross, executive director of the Union Station Foundation in Pasadena; Perry; and Yaroslavsky (Mantle, "AirTalk," KPCC, 4/5). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.
- KPCC's "Talk of the City": The segment includes comments from Mitchell Netburn, executive director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (Chen, "Talk of the City," KPCC, 4/6). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.