Incite LA City Council to Redirect Funds from Shelters to Permanent Housing for Homeless
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On any given night, there are over 115,000 homeless people in California - 21% of the entire nation’s homeless population. Solely, in Los Angeles there are over 40,000 homeless people, making it one of the cities with the largest homeless population in the world.
A policy that will help alleviate the homeless problem in Los Angeles is called Housing First. At the beginning, this program focuses on providing homeless people with free permanent housing for a period of time. It also provides these persons with health care, counselling, and other services to help reintroduce them into society. With this, homeless people will eventually find a job which will generate income to pay little by little their housing. This project lacks necessary funds to be properly enacted. Los Angeles county receives approximately $105 million in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds to prevent and end homelessness. Collecting these funds, much of which would normally be used for temporary shelters, would pay for the Housing First policy. Some people can oppose this solution and support the existence of shelters to help the homeless, but these are much more expensive to maintain than offering them housing.
It has been proven by the L.A. Mayor’s Housing First model that permanent placement housing is far more inexpensive than current street or shelter costs. According to the L.A. Mayor’s team of research, “A 2009 Economic Roundtable study on homelessness in Los Angeles showed that it costs $605 a month to have someone placed in permanent supportive housing. The typical public cost for providing services to a similar homeless person on the street is $2,897” (Mayor Garcetti, 2016) The amount of money the city provides for homeless people on the streets is more than two thousand dollars a person more expensive than to simply house them.
Measure HHH is a measure on the L.A. city ballot to fund a bond to raise $1.2 billion, which the city of Los Angeles would use to leverage additional funding from the state, federal agencies and other organizations. The plan is to generate a total of $4 billion to spend on housing. However, this measure is funded by property tax dollars. Meaning homeowners will pay an extra $9.64 a year for every $100,000 in property owned. On the other hand, Measure H would consist on a ¼ sales tax increase to pay for programs to assist the homeless in Los Angeles County. It is expected to generate $355 million a year for 10 years to fund health care, job training, affordable housing and other programs for the homeless. Nevertheless, the Housing First approach would be much more beneficial because it would not have to increase taxes as it would be using funds which are currently directed to temporary shelters for the homeless.
Homelessness is an issue that once used to seem impossible to solve, but this is no longer true. Redirecting the funds used for temporary help solely to the Housing First approach, will benefit our community by improving our economy as well as improving the health and lifestyle of the homeless community.
Please sign and SHARE this petition to shift the funds given to temporary housing and shelters to be used for PERMANENT HOUSING PROGRAMS FOR THE HOMELESS.
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