LA Weekly: By nearly every metric, Los Angeles has the worst homelessness crisis of any city in America. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are more people suffering from chronic homelessness in L.A. than anywhere in the country, and their number is growing at a faster clip than those in New York City.
KCRW Press Play: More than 27,000 people are homeless in Los Angeles. The problem is getting worse. In a special live event, Madeleine Brand looks at how we got here, what at-risk people are doing to keep off the streets, and what big ideas exist to effectively tackle the crisis.
Landscape Architecture Magazine: Speed bumps and curbs that narrow the street to slow traffic. Safety zones for women and LGBTQ residents. Vegetable gardens with citrus trees. Drinking fountains, storage units, and cell phone charging stations. This isn’t a laundry list of community benefits in your local affluent suburb; it’s a wish list for the nation’s most concentrated homeless community in downtown Los Angeles: Skid Row.
KCRW: There are 47,000 homeless people living on the streets of Los Angeles County, and more than half of them live in the city of LA.
Critics say local leaders have been unable to effectively address the underlying problems that lead to homelessness, including mental illness, addiction and skyrocketing rents.
A bond measure on November’s LA city ballot bills itself as part of the solution.
Yesterday morning, I had the great privilege of hosting a broad coalition of elected officials, civic leaders, philanthropic partners, nonprofit service providers, and homeless advocates at Skid Row Housing Trust’s New Genesis Apartments, which gathered to urge Angelenos to vote yes on Proposition HHH on the November 2016 ballot. The proposition – “Housing and Hope to End Homelessness”- would allow the city to finance 10,000 units of permanent supportive housing over the next 10 years. It would triple the rate at which Los Angeles currently builds safe, stable, and affordable housing that is desperately needed by thousands of individuals who are currently homeless.
Permanent supportive housing in Los Angeles has a 90% success rate at ending homelessness, and is 43% cheaper than leaving people on the street where they are dependent on emergency services and temporary shelters for care. Not just an apartment, permanent supportive housing offers voluntary on-site health, mental health, recovery and case management services so that formerly homeless individuals can stabilize their lives on their own terms. Unfortunately, there is not enough housing to help all of those in need, and the waitlist is long. Visit yesonhhh.com to learn how Proposition HHH would dramatically accelerate the work that is being done, bringing this proven solution to scale.
Proposition HHH is a common-sense approach based on evidence and years of hands-on experience: Homes end homelessness. It would bring tens of thousands of our neighbors – men, women, children and veterans – home. We were honored to host the launch of this important campaign, which was covered by the LA Times, KCRW, MyNewsLA, ABC, CBS and many more. Join this historic effort to end homelessness in our City by spreading word and voting yes for Proposition HHH this November.
CEO, Skid Row Housing Trust
Permanent supportive housing – decent, affordable, community-based housing that offers voluntary support services – has proven to be most effective at helping individuals who struggle long-term homelessness. However, Los Angeles only has enough of permanent supportive housing to help 20% of those in need. We are proud to announce that Bank of America awarded the Trust $20,000 to help us continue creating safe and stable homes for some of our most vulnerable neighbors. With the support of partners like Bank of America, we aim to develop or renovate over 1,200 units of permanent supportive housing over the next five years. “Tackling the immediate needs of our homeless neighbors who continue to struggle with access to affordable housing is important to assist them with regaining and maintaining long-term stability,” said Raul A. Anaya, Los Angeles market president, Bank of America. “By supporting nonprofits like Skid Row Housing Trust, we can strengthen our community and play a vital role in its overall economic health.”
This summer, interns from Gensler Los Angeles raised $2,000 to purchase supplies for Welcome Home Kits for the first-ever residents of Crest Apartments, the Trust’s newest permanent supportive housing property.
Welcome Home Kits help ease the transition from homelessness into housing by providing essential kitchen ware, cleaning supplies, and personal hygiene items. On August 1st, the interns put the kits together alongside staff from National Equity Fund, which assisted in the financing of the Crest Apartments. In the next few weeks, new residents moving into Crest Apartments will each receive one of these kits, which will also include handwritten notes of support from the interns.
We are thrilled to work with innovative partners like Gensler and National Equity Fund who care deeply about every step of the permanent supportive housing process. Stay tuned over the coming months as we celebrate the official grand opening of the Crest Apartments, which will provide 64 units of permanent supportive housing in L.A.’s Van Nuys neighborhood.
ArchPaper: Estimates for 2015 released by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority put Los Angeles County’s homeless population at 44,359 individuals, with 17,687 of the 25,686 homeless residents of the City of Los Angeles being completely unsheltered.
The proposal also calls upon the City of Los Angeles to create new, local revenue streams to fund the increased production of permanent supportive housing, and to build upon Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Executive Directive 13 to dramatically reduce development timelines for permanent supportive housing.
“We know that permanent supportive housing has a proven track record of helping those most in need, while saving government and tax-payer money,” said California Community Foundation President & CEO Antonia Hernández. “By moving frequent users of services like emergency rooms and shelters into apartments that provide much-needed social services, we’re helping our homeless neighbors stabilize and eventually become self-sufficient.”
Mayor Garcetti, Councilmember Gill Cedillo, and Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson also spoke in support of the initiative. The foundations’ support will leverage Mayor Garcetti’s commitment of $138 million to combat homelessness over the next year. The coalition aims to build on this momentum and encourage the City to develop long-term solutions to homelessness.
“Homelessness touches every corner of our City, impacting all of us,” said Mayor Garcetti. “To combat the crisis, my 2016 budget will include a historic $138 million investment to drive forward our homelessness strategies, but as we bring record levels of City investments to the table, we also need all hands on deck. These foundations are leading the private sector by partnering with us to do more for those who need our help the most. I applaud their work.”
In addition to remarks from CEO Mike Alvidrez, New Genesis resident, Joe Sims spoke about the impact that permanent supportive housing has had on his health and wellbeing.
CEO Mike Alvidrez was on PBS SoCal to discuss solutions to homelessness in Los Angeles, appearing alongside Union Rescue Mission CEO Rev. Andy Bales.