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LA County Approves $460 Million In Homeless Initiatives

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The five elected officials who govern Los Angeles County Tuesday approved $460 million in Measure H spending on homelessness, increasing their commitment to the problem in the face of a widely anticipated rise in the numbers of people without a permanent home.

Prior to the vote, the Board of Supervisors gathered on the steps of the downtown Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration to underline the county's determination to find permanent solutions for thousands of people living in encampments on city streets and empty lots.

"The scale of this crisis is overwhelming," Supervisor Janice Hahn said. "We cannot and will not accept this as the new normal."

The results of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority point-in-time count of homelessness will not be publicly available until May 31, but all indications are that the trend will be up, perhaps dramatically.

"This is a deepening and dynamic crisis," Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said. "We are contending with serious head winds that threaten to hinder our progress, but we will not be deterred."

This is the third-year budget for Measure H -- the homeless initiative approved by LA County voters that increased the county's sales tax by a quarter-cent and was expected to raise $355 million annually.

The budget increase this year includes $126 million for shelter/interim housing, $85.4 million for rapid re-housing, $77.3 million for permanent supportive housing, $28.4 million for outreach and $23 million for prevention.

On the state level, California Gov. Gavin Newsom's revised budget aims to double state spending on homelessness to $1 billion.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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