The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors declared a state of emergency on homelessness, following in the footsteps of city Mayor Karen Bass.
While Bass’ declaration simply affected the city of Los Angeles, the board’s unanimous vote will affect the entirety of the county, allowing for more hires in homeless services and progressing on homeless initiatives.
“My goal and I know this board’s goal is to not only get individuals housed, but it’s to keep them housed,” Supervisor Kathryn Barger said during the Tuesday board meeting. “One of the ways that you can do that is to provide the services that they need, whether it be substance abuse, mental health, or even job training… but we need to stabilize them and get them off the street.”
The state of emergency declaration for the city of Los Angeles was the first order made by Mayor Bass upon starting her term on December 12, 2022.
As Bass was sworn in, she asked county officials to “lock arms” with her and match her efforts on homelessness.
“I want to thank Supervisor [Lindsey Horvath,] Supervisor [Kathryn Barger]
and the entire L.A. County Board of Supervisors for unanimously locking arms between the County and the City by declaring an emergency on homelessness crisis today,” Bass said in a Twitter post. “The people of Los Angeles deserve that we urgently and immediately take every possible action to bring unhoused Angelenos indoors, and this declaration will enable us to move faster and unlock every tool possible.”
I want to thank Supervisor @LindseyPHorvath, Supervisor @kathrynbarger and the entire @LACountyBOS for unanimously locking arms between the County and the City by declaring an emergency on homelessness crisis today. 1/ pic.twitter.com/ZVQdFcCg2h
— Mayor Karen Bass (@MayorOfLA) January 10, 2023
Supervisor Horvath, who co-authored the motion with Barger, said the declaration would create a sense of urgency, “leading with transparency, creating the tools required to combat this humanitarian crisis.”
Hours after the L.A. County supervisors voted on the declaration, Long Beach City Council also approved its own state of emergency declaration, as requested by Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson.
“Today, the Long Beach City Council approved my request to declare a state of emergency in response to the homelessness crisis,” Richardson said. “I want to thank the entire City Council for taking this bold action and Downtown Councilwoman [Mary Zendejas] for leading the motion.”The solution to these challenges will require all residents, businesses, community-based organizations, and faith leaders to step up.”
During its annual homeless count, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) estimated that 69,144 people in Los Angeles County were experiencing homelessness in 2022, with 41,980 of them residing in the city itself.
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