Mayor Karen Bass; Supervisor Janice Hahn, Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors; Supervisor and LAHSA Commissioner Lindsey Horvath; and LAHSA Commission Chair Wendy Greuel lauded the selection of Va Lecia Adams Kellum, Ph.D., as the new CEO of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA).
They gathered with Dr. Adams Kellum and other LAHSA commissioners at a press conference at City Hall following the LAHSA Commission’s unanimous vote to select Dr. Adams Kellum at its meeting on Monday, January 23.
“In Dr. Adams Kellum, we are bringing new leadership to LAHSA that is completely aligned with the new spirit of unity and urgency that the City and the County are bringing to our crisis of homelessness,” said Mayor Bass, who called Dr. Adams Kellum instrumental in developing the City’s new, Inside Safe strategy.
“With more than 40,000 unhoused people within the City of Los Angeles and more than 67,000 across the County of Los Angeles, a unified approach is the only way we can make a difference, and that’s exactly the road we’re on.”
“This is another example of the County and the City locking arms, and pushing the reset button in how we are addressing homelessness,” said Supervisor Hahn.
“I will admit I have had my doubts about LAHSA’s work. What LAHSA has done and, frankly, what our county and the city have done so far to address the homelessness crisis, has not worked. But Va Lecia Adams Kellum has been tapped as the new Executive Director of LAHSA because she is someone who has risen to meet the homelessness crisis in a bold way. She has my full support.”
“Our dual state of emergencies is already breaking down barriers among the County, City, LAHSA, and the community that has held us back in addressing our homelessness crisis,” said Horvath. “I appointed myself to the LAHSA Commission to ensure we meet this moment with the urgency it requires. Our selection of Dr. Adams to lead at this critical time brings us all that much more into alignment to deliver for the people of Los Angeles.”
“I am proud of the work LAHSA has been able to accomplish over the last few years, including making more than 64,000 housing placements over the last three years. I’m excited that Dr. Kellum Adams will join us to lead a new era of unity and cooperation,” said Commission Chair Greuel. “Many of us have been working for years to create more regional alignment, and I know the selection of Dr. Adams Kellum is a huge step in the right direction.”
“The alignment of the City and the County on the homelessness crisis is heartening, and I am humbled by this opportunity to serve as LAHSA’s CEO,” said Dr. Adams Kellum.
“Each of us knows the time is now for action, and that business as usual is unacceptable. We must all lock arms to create a new way forward to help our unhoused neighbors and restore our neighborhoods.”
Dr. Adams Kellum will formally start her role as CEO on March 26. Prior to that, she will work as a consultant advising the Mayor’s Chief of Housing and Homelessness Solutions, helping to build out the encampment resolution component of the Inside Safe Strategy.
Dr. Adams Kellum is currently the president and CEO of St. Joseph Center, a social service organization offering outreach & engagement, housing, mental health, and education & vocational programs across Los Angeles County. Under her leadership, St. Joseph Center has nearly quadrupled its staff, expanded its services, and broadened its geographic reach, becoming a recognized leader in homeless services throughout LA County.
Born and raised in Southern California, Dr. Adams Kellum received her B.A. from the University of Southern California and earned an M.A. from Ball State University before completing her Ph.D. at Stanford University.