LOS ANGELES — The city has set aside $12.4 million to help house the homeless and provide more temporary shelter during El Niño storms expected this winter, Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Council members announced Dec. 9.
The funding, proposed by Garcetti and approved by the City Council, includes $10 million for “rapid re-housing” subsidies for nearly 1,000 transients to help them with rent or move-in costs.
The remaining funds will increase shelter beds this winter by more than 50 percent — to a total of 1,300. These beds will be targeted to those living in the Los Angeles River bed and the Tujunga and Arroyo Seco washes.
“We will not be intimidated by the scale of this problem, or listen to those who say it is intractable,” Garcetti said of the high number of homeless in the city.
“We must remain laser-focused on solving this crisis — both on the short-term fixes and long-term strategies that will keep our residents safe and off the streets,” he said.
Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who co-chairs the Homelessness and Poverty Committee, said the $12.4 million is “just the beginning of the funds we hope to release to bring about real change to the people living on the streets here in Skid Row, South Los Angeles, the Westside and Valley.”
While more needs to be done, “we have to plug the hole and stop people from falling into homelessness, as well,” he said.
Harris-Dawson’s committee co-chair, Councilman Jose Huizar, also said the funds are a “down-payment on our $100 million commitment to fund a strategic plan” to counter homelessness in the city of Los Angeles.
City leaders have said that a “battle plan” for tackling homelessness will likely be released in early 2015, and include a partnership with the county of Los Angeles.