The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority held a community information session to discuss the current state of homelessness in Los Angeles County. The session was held at the Council District 8 Constituent Service Center, 8475 Vermont Ave., Los Angeles.
The session focused on statistics and information toward families and individuals living in Service Planning Area (SPA) 6, which covers much of South Los Angeles. It is reported African Americans make up 9% of the Los Angeles County population but make up 40% of the county’s homeless population. The session aimed to have attendees participate in more advocacy for Los Angeles’ homeless crisis.
The session gave updates on Measure H, which passed early this year and will begin its collection of a special tax starting Oct. 1 with a $266 million revenue projection for fiscal year 2017-2018. The Measure is projected at $355 million annually thereafter. The approval of Measure H authorizes the County of Los Angeles to impose a one-quarter percent (0.25%) special transactions and use tax on the gross receipts of any retailer from the sale of all personal property in the incorporated and unincorporated territory of the County.
Proceeds from the tax will be used to generate ongoing funding to prevent and combat homelessness within Los Angeles County, including funding mental health, substance abuse treatment, health care, education, job training, rental and housing subsidies, case management and services, emergency and affordable housing, transportation, outreach, prevention, and supportive services for homeless children, families, foster youth, veterans, battered women, seniors, disabled individuals, and other homeless adults, consistent with the strategies developed through the Homeless Initiative adopted by the Board, and as otherwise directed by the Board to address the causes and effects of homelessness.
Kenon Joseph, Community Engagement Coordinator for SPA 6 (Service Planning Area) conducted the “Info Session” and could not stress enough the importance of speaking the language of homelessness. “One of the main points is to outline and digesting this information”, he stated. “When looking at individuals facing homelessness, it’s a very multi-faceted dynamic. So, all the information available for the community to look at in the info session gives them an idea or scope as to what individuals face in terms of homelessness. These statistics helps us or gives us a gage of where we need to focus our attention for financial resources or for resource allocation. So being able to understand what that data means will be important when our community members go out and advocate.”
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority is a joint powers authority of the City and County of Los Angeles, created in 1993 to address the problems of homelessness in Los Angeles County. LAHSA is the lead agency in the HUD-funded Los Angeles Continuum of Care, and coordinates and manages more than $243 million annually in federal, state, county and city funds for programs providing shelter, housing and services to homeless persons.
LAHSA’s primary role is to coordinate the effective and efficient utilization of Federal and local funding in providing services to homeless people throughout Los Angeles City and County.
The Session also provided information for community and faith organizations who are interested in contracting opportunities. For more information or to get involved visit www.lahsa.org.