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City Council Declares Local Emergency On Homelessness In LA

LOS ANGELES ( — City Council members declared a local emergency on Tuesday, which sought new resources to battle homelessness in Los Angeles.

At 9:15 a.m., City Council President Herb Wesson and members of the city's Homelessness and Poverty Committee submitted a motion that approves up to $100 million to be spent on services for the homeless.

According to city officials, the funds will be used to prioritize permanent, supportive housing and shelter programs.

"Craving protection from the elements is a basic human instinct," said Wesson. "As a moral society, we have an obligation to provide shelter for the shelter-less. Today, we step away from the insanity of doing the same thing and hoping for different results, and instead chart our way to ending homelessness in Los Angeles."

Council members discussed the motion during a time when the L.A. region has seen an uptick in the number of families and individuals living in the streets.

According to a biennial report released by the L.A. Homeless Services Authority, more than half of L.A. County's overall homeless population lives in the City of Los Angeles.

Countywide, about 44,359 homeless people were tallied in January, the survey reports.

"Ending homelessness is a moral imperative that also makes financial sense for our city," explained L.A. City Councilman Paul Krekorian. "We spend millions of dollars each year to manage the problem, but without any strategy or long term goals.

"The major investment of city resources that we're proposing today is a serious attempt to find a solution to homelessness in Los Angeles," Krekorian added. "We need a well-funded, multi-year plan that is sustainable and supports the people in our city who need it most."

Later this year, Mayor Eric Garcetti is expected to release a plan that will also help to combat homelessness citywide.

The first payment is expected to be made on Jan. 1, 2016.

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