Homelessness in California
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Every solution to a problem starts off small. The city of Los Angeles recently voted yes on Measure H, a measure that would increase sales tax by a quarter-cent to go into homeless intervention services, and Measure HHH which is a $1.2-billion bond measure that will fund services for thousands of units of homeless housing. The Los Angeles Times article “County voters to decide on quarter-cent sales tax for homelessness programs” by Doug Smith covers how Measure H intends to collect funds that will be used to combat the city’s homeless. Smith writes that the city will experience a “quarter-cent sales tax to support a broad canvas of strategies. They include services for those living in thousands of new housing units, rental subsidies for thousands more across the county, hundreds of new outreach workers and short-term interventions to help those in crisis keep their homes.”
If all of California were to take on this small tax increase, the funds that would be collected could set up housing units and supportive services to combat this pressing issue throughout all the state instead of just in Los Angeles County. Proposition HHH is a separate $1.2-billion bond measure approved by Los Angeles city residents that will finance services for thousands of units of homeless housing. Another article, “Absentee vote pushes L.A. County homeless sales tax measure to a strong finish,” also by Doug Smith, discusses the effects these measures will have for the city in the long run. It states “(Measure H) combined with the $1.2-billion housing bond approved by Los Angeles city voters in November, will get 45,000 of an estimated 47,000 homeless people in the county off the streets in five years…”
If the California State Legislature passed the law that would put LA Country’s Measure H and HHH to action throughout all of California, these results would sweep through a much larger population of homeless people. By getting people off the streets throughout all of California, the state is taking initiative in improving the mental health of an abundance of people with the support services offered after housing. This would also improve the economy by helping people back into an independent, working lifestyle that brings in income tax.
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