Next City: When Bluebonnet Studios opened in Austin last month, all 107 apartments filled quickly. There’s already a waitlist of over 900 low-income Austinites hoping for a spot in the rent-restricted development.
With the final votes tallied, Measure H has officially passed, thanks to the support of a broad coalition from across Los Angeles County. This diverse group of businesses, labor organizations, nonprofits, advocates, and elected officials also helped pass Measure HHH in the City of Los Angeles with an overwhelming 76% of the vote in November. Both measures required a 2/3 majority to pass, a massive endeavor that required the coordination of activists and organizations throughout the county to conduct voter outreach and education. Our efforts paid off!
Thanks to the generosity and vision of the community, Measure HHH and Measure H will collectively result in the largest commitment of resources by voters anywhere in the country – possibly ever – to locally prevent and end homelessness. Measure HHH authorized $1.2 billion in bonds to pay for the construction of 10,000 new homes. And now, Los Angeles County’s Measure H will generate $350 million a year for services that will help people access and stay in stable housing.
These historic votes are testament to the work that the Trust and its partners have done for so many years to develop, support, and promote effective programs. The Trust proved that permanent supportive housing works, and affirmed that we can end homelessness by meaningfully investing in evidence-based solutions. These election results show that voters want to live in a community that cares for its neighbors. A sincere THANK YOU to everyone who voted for a stronger, healthier Los Angeles.
Our work has just begun.
CEO, Skid Row Housing Trust
Curbed LA: How does a city keep one of its hottest neighborhoods from becoming just another enclave of the superrich?
LA Times Editorial Board: It ’s frustrating to watch homeless people living on the streets, as if they were stray animals that no one knew what to do with. Our visceral responses range from “How can I help them?” to “How can I get them to go away?”
Yesterday at Skid Row Housing Trust’s Crest Apartments, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Chair Wendy Gruel, and a coalition of business leaders, veterans, and homeless service organizations urged voters to support Measure H on March 7th. Check out the live stream on Facebook! This ballot measure would create funding dedicated to supportive services that are proven to end and prevent homelessness, including outreach, health care, substance abuse recovery, housing support, and job training. While a home is the first step to ending homelessness, supportive services are essential for helping people get off the street and remain stably housed.
The rally was the first public event to take place at the Trust’s new Crest Apartments, which transformed an open lot into 63 homes for veterans and disabled individuals who have experienced homelessness. It is located in the San Fernando Valley, where the number of people experiencing homelessness grew by 35% last year. Measure H will help people across Los Angeles County, including women and children, veterans, and those with mental illness get the support they need and break the cycle of homelessness. It will help house 45,000 families and individuals within five years, and prevent homelessness for 30,000 families and individuals over the same period.
We asked Mayor Garcetti to write some postcards at the rally to help get out the vote. If you are interested in educating the public about Measure H, volunteer to phone bank from home and show your support on social media. Measure H is an important part of a county-wide effort to combat homelessness. It is an opportunity to define the type of community we want to live in and pass on to our children.
CEO, Skid Row Housing Trust
KQED: President Trump’s choice to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, retired surgeon Ben Carson, has no experience in housing or homeless services. He’s never held elected office or a government job.
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.
LA Weekly: Los Angeles voters have passed a pair of progressive ballot measures — one to fight homelessness, the other to expand its public transit network.
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.
LA Times: For years, many Los Angeles residents have watched with alarm as homeless encampments spread across the city, from the sidewalks of skid row to alleys in South Los Angeles, behind shopping centers in the Valley and even on the bluffs above the Pacific Ocean.