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'I'm Strong, I'm Steeled And I'm Scared': Garcetti Announces New Programs To Help Homeless, Says Crisis Is Most Intense Of His Career

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Friday said that handling the coronavirus pandemic has been the most intense experience of his career.

"I'm strong, I'm steeled and I'm scared," he said. "When people ask me how I'm feeling it's all three. I'm scared for all of us for what's ahead, but I feel very strong."

He said he was making sure that he was getting enough sleep and that spending time with his wife and daughter at the beginning and end of each day improved his mental health.

"In my experience in government, this is by far the most intense thing that I have ever gone through, and that I hope we will ever go through," he said.

He said this after announcing new funding to improve the city's crisis response for the most financially vulnerable.

That funding includes $31 million in Community Development Block Grant money that will go toward eviction defense at the end of the crisis; expanding domestic violence shelter services and assistance so people do not have to stay at home in abusive environments; and training and business assistance for workers who have lost their jobs and small businesses that are struggling to stay afloat.

It also includes $16 million for emergency solutions grants, money that will be put into expanding services, increasing the number of shelters, getting people into transitional housing and helping folks who have recently become housed stay in their homes.

The city will also be using $3 million to support people facing homelessness who are HIV+ or have AIDS so they do not become infected with COVID-19.

Garcetti also announced that the city was opening its 13th Bridge Home shelter one month early.

And he announced a partnership between the Board of Public Works and the YMCA to make nine facilities available for people to shower, use the restroom and be able to maintain better hygiene while homeless.

Garcetti also said that there are nearly 800 hotel and motel rooms that have been made avialable or unhoused Angelenos who need to be isolated, but have not yet tested positive for COVID-19.

RELATED: Thousands Of Hotel, Motel Rooms Across California Used For Homeless Relocation

And his final announcement of the evening was a new network that connects volunteers with nonprofit organizations in need of workers.

For more information about the Inspiring Service, people can visit the mayor's website and click on the non-profit directory button.

"If we get to the midpoint soon, one month into this, we can do that for another month. And then we'll come out of this and we will deal with what lies ahead," Garcetti said. "We'll deal with the economic challenges, we'll deal with the city challenges, and I know we can meet those together if we can get through this."

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