LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a $402 million spending plan for 2018-2019 in the fight against homelessness.
The funding approved unanimously by the five-member board is for the second-year budget of Measure H, the voter-approved quarter-cent sales tax dedicated exclusively to providing services and programs to combat the homelessness crisis.
"Today's vote was an important milestone in continuing the difficult and essential work of bringing help and hope to our homeless neighbors," said Board Chair Sheila Kuehl. "The Measure H spending plan approved today by the Board builds on proven strategies and puts resources where they're needed most. As we enter the second year of this unprecedented effort, it's encouraging to see this collaborative process going forward in ways that are literally saving lives."
The county moved 10,330 people into crisis, bridge and interim housing with Measure H dollars from July 2017 to March 2018, according to board documents. More than 5,200 homeless families and individuals have found permanent housing during the same time period.
Roughly 80 percent of the total dollars raised have been spent. Phil Ansell, who leads the county's Homeless Initiative, called it an "extraordinarily fast roll-out'' when compared with other new initiatives.
Despite some early problems with slow payments and understaffing at the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, Ansell said the pace of spending puts the county on track to meet its goal of moving 45,000 homeless families and individuals into permanent housing during the first five years of Measure H funding.
The spending plan includes $120 million for shelters and interim housing, including the addition of 3,250 beds; $73 million for rapid re-housing, including rent and move-in subsidies and landlord incentives; $49 million for permanent supportive housing; $30 million for outreach; and $17 million for prevention.
Meanwhile, the board is awaiting the results of LAHSA's point-in-time homeless count, expected to be released at the end of this month, to see whether the number of people living in the street is up or down and, if up, whether the pace of increase has slowed.
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