LA County seeks public feedback on homeless initiative budget

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The annual count of the homeless population, conducted by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, has taken place this week, with the South Bay area, including San Pedro, set to take place late Wednesday, Feb. 23. The final day of the count is schedu

The Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative, which is partially funded through Measure H, is seeking public comment today on its $556.4 million draft spending plan for the fiscal year 2022-23.

The budget is 5.5% more than the $527.1 million approved for the current fiscal year, and it includes $465.6 million from Measure H, a quarter-cent sales tax approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2017. The tax funds a 10-year campaign to combat the county’s homelessness crisis.

The draft’s recommendations include more than $143 million for services for permanent supportive housing, more than $125 million to improve the emergency shelter system, $40.15 million to expand a countywide outreach system, $8 million for homeless prevention for families, more than $11 million for homeless prevention for individuals, $3.62 million for subsidized housing for unhoused disabled individuals, nearly $65 million for rapid rehousing, nearly $14 million to facilitate federal housing subsidies and more than $37 million for interim housing for people exiting institutions.

According to the county’s most recent count of its unhoused population, there were 66,433 people experiencing homelessness in January 2020, up from 58,936 in 2019. Results of the 2022 count, which is underway this week, are expected to be made public by LAHSA over the summer.

The Homeless Initiative was created by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in 2015. The board worked the following year with community and government partners on 47 strategies to address the homelessness crisis. Measure H, which provides an estimated $355 million per year or 10 years, helps fund the initiative.

County residents can submit written public comments on the draft through May 10 by going to bit.ly/3pdwN70. On March 9, people can provide verbal public comments during a virtual hearing. Officials said the feedback will help inform the final budget, which the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will consider in May.

A presentation on the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative recommendations, and a comparison to the current fiscal year, is available at bit.ly/3hePnr7.

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