Villaraigosa Pledges $50M Toward Housing, Help for Chronically Homeless
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) on Tuesday pledged to spend $50 million to develop service-enriched housing for the city's chronically homeless, many of whom are HIV-positive or have mental illnesses or substance abuse problems, the Los Angeles Times reports.
City officials hope the effort to provide the homeless with shelter and medical assistance in one place will help reduce visits to hospital emergency departments and jails.
Orlando Ward, spokesperson for the advocacy group Midnight Mission, said the investment will help but is only one step toward a broader program to fight homelessness. In addition, he said the city should expand medical and drug detoxification centers and "disincentivize" the culture of street living (Fausset, Los Angeles Times, 10/26).
In related news, Villaraigosa on Wednesday announced that he will work toward putting a $1 billion bond measure on the ballot to pay for more affordable housing in Los Angeles, the Times reports (Fausset/Hymon, Los Angeles Times, 10/27).