Tag Archives: LAHSA

LA finally going to solve homeless crisis with “Housing Central Command”

The street of LA…

Like many progressive-run, West coast cities, Los Angeles has had a homeless crisis for many years.

In June 2019, it was announced that the number of homeless people in Los Angeles County jumped 12 percent over the previous year, despite $619 million in government tax spending tax payer dollars to help alleviate the problem.

After spending all that taxpayer money to barely make a dent in their crisis, the bureaucrats have come up with a solution: the creation of a “Housing Central Command” center. Details from Yahoo:

“Los Angeles city and county officials on Tuesday announced a new strategy to speed the process of getting homeless people into permanent housing that is modeled on the federal government’s response to natural disasters.

The creation of a “Housing Central Command” marks an overhaul of how agencies work together in addressing the growing number of people living on the street, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

Previously the system was slowed by red tape and gaps in information showing what housing units were available and who is eligible to move into them, officials said. In some cases there was a waiting period of 10 months from a person being matched to housing to signing a lease.

“Nobody was holding the full picture of resources,” said LAHSA interim executive director Heidi Marston. “Our systems weren’t talking to each other.”

The new initiative uses a “war room model” inspired by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s approach to finding homes for people suddenly displaced by hurricanes, Marston said. Now officials will have access to real-time data showing housing availability as well as funding streams, according to LAHSA.

Since the launch in December, officials have identified some 3,000 potential housing units that were previously not part of the overall inventory, Marston said.

The central command is a major step toward restructuring a response system overseen by LAHSA that also includes housing and development authorities, the mayor’s office and health departments.

“We have a high number of people who need to be rehoused rapidly,” Marson said of the situation in greater Los Angeles, where officials have declared homelessness a state of emergency. Including crisis-response experts on a day-to-day basis shows that officials are treating the problem with the urgency it deserves, she said.

In its 2019 count, the authority reported that there were close to 60,000 homeless people living in LA County, with more than 36,000 of them in the city. All but about 25% live on the streets. Freeway overpasses are lined with tents, and it’s a common sight to see someone pushing a shopping cart filled with belongings through downtown.

According to LAHSA and Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office, an average of 130 homeless people in Los Angeles move into housing daily. However, an average of 150 people become homeless every day. “The homelessness crisis demands an emergency response, and moving the needle means being nimble, flexible and creative with our resources,” Garcetti said in a statement praising the new strategy.

Through the new process, officials also discovered $30 million of a $107 million grant from HUD to Los Angeles in 2017 had gone unspent within a calendar-year deadline, LAHSA said.

That happened because of low vacancy rates and higher market rates than public housing authorities could pay, LAHSA officials said, along with “landlord bias” against tenants with mental disorders or a history of homelessness.

“It is completely unacceptable that housing funds were left unspent when our unsheltered neighbors continue to languish out on the street,” said LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis. The new efforts will leave behind a “disjointed” system and “maximize all of the region’s resources,” she said.”

Read the whole story here.

While HUD Secretary Ben Carson met with Los Angeles officials a week ago to discuss strategies for addressing homelessness in Los Angeles, I’m not holding my breath that the demorats in charge will actually accomplish any major goals. Well, maybe just one: the “discovery” of more unspent taxpayer dollars.

DCG

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Liberal La La Land: Scathing report by democrat auditor finds deep operational failures at L.A.’s top homeless outreach agency

LA Mayor Garcetti/LA Times photo

Ron Galperin has been the Los Angeles City Controller since July 2013. He’s a member of the demorat party and – because sexual identity matters to the left – his Wikipedia page lists him as “the first openly gay official to be elected to citywide office in Los Angeles.”

But whatever. I’d rather focus on what his latest audit has shown about his fellow demorats and what they haven’t done to get the Los Angeles’ homeless crisis under control.

He released a report on August 28 entitled, “Strategy on the Streets: Improving Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s Outreach Program.”

Excerpts from the audit:

“The 2019 point-in-time count estimated that the number of people experiencing homelessness grew to 56,000 in the Los Angeles Continuum of Care (CoC) of which 42,500 people were considered unsheltered at the time of the count. This represented the largest number of unsheltered people in any of the nation’s major CoCs and the City of Los Angeles (City), itself, was home to most of the unsheltered cases.

Overall, the City experienced a 16% rise from the prior year’s count to 36,000 individuals.

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) is a joint powers authority of the City and County of Los Angeles; and is governed by a 10-member commission that is appointed by the City Council/Mayor and County Board of Supervisors. LAHSA, today, manages an approximate annual budget of $300 million in federal, State, County, and City funds for programs that provide shelter, permanent housing, and services to people experiencing homelessness.

A critical service LAHSA provides is street outreach (outreach). Over the last two fiscal years, the City allocated a combined $10 million for outreach services, while the County provided the largest amount, totaling $44 million.

Our Office sought to determine how well LAHSA performed City outreach, and we offer recommendations for much needed improvements to its performance and reporting.

In fiscal year (FY) 2017-18, LAHSA failed to meet seven of nine citywide outreach goals, which the agency attributed to data quality issues associated with a new system. As a result, our Office also reviewed LAHSA’s outreach performance in FY 2018-19—for the period when its data challenges should have been resolved—and the results did not improve.”

Read the whole report here.

The streets of Los Angeles…

A report by CBS Los Angeles said that Galperin stated that, “It is all together unacceptable.”

It took a year of auditing to determine that despite the money that tax payers have contributed to their homeless crisis, the number of people on the streets continues to grow.

The story explains that LAHSA’s outreach programs are “reactive” instead of not doing enough to prevent people from becoming homeless.

The good demorat mayor, Eric Garcetti, put a positive spin on the audit: He enjoyed the report and was able to share with Galperin some ways he felt LAHSA could be more proactive in its outreach efforts.

“Any suggestions to improve the efficacy of (LAHSA) and the quickness with which we can get people from the streets to our beds and shelters, I welcome as well,” Garcetti said. “And I think there are some good suggestions that are in there.”

However, Garcetti said the report was based on a snapshot from 18 months ago when the city only had 25 outreach workers — about 800 additional outreach workers have been brought in to address the growing crisis. He also said that more than 20 new homeless shelters are being built, along with 10,000 new permanent housing units.

Read the whole CBS Los Angeles story here.

DCG

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