Cities’ Summit to Combat Homelessness

Recognizing that homelessness knows no boundaries, Los Angeles County officials convened a summit with city leaders and policy experts to demonstrate their shared commitment to addressing the crisis and to underscore the power of collaboration.

The 2nd Annual Cities’ Summit to Combat Homelessness included a deep dive on outreach strategies, ways to boost the stock of temporary and permanent housing, and efforts to prevent families and individuals from becoming homeless in the first place. All are part of the County’s Homeless Initiative to be funded with Measure H, a voter-approved sales tax projected to raise an unprecedented $355 million a year for a decade to provide housing and supportive services to those experiencing homelessness, or are at risk of it.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas addresses the 2nd Annual Cities’ Summit to Combat Homelessness. All photos by Henry Salazar/Board of Supervisors.

“Even before we start to collect the tax on October 1st, the County is already hard at work,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas told summit participants representing dozens of cities across the County. “Immediately after ballot measure passed on March 7th, the County convened a 50-member community stakeholder committee to plan the allocation of Measure H resources, and the Board approved their proposed spending plan in June. To ensure accountability, it also appointed a Citizens’ Oversight Committee, which just held its first meeting.”

“Meanwhile, nonprofits are ramping up to take innovative solutions to scale, including landlord incentives and subsidies to build secondary homes in backyards,” he added. “New partnerships among the County and cities’ various Housing Authorities have already resulted in housing and services commitments to help more than 2,000 homeless persons. That’s Measure H in action, and we’re just getting started.”

County CEO Sachi Hamai said, “Homelessness not only erodes the lives of families and individuals, it profoundly affects the wellbeing of entire communities, and that requires a concerted, regional approach by the County, its cities and our grassroots partners. The power of collaboration can save lives.”

Held in Carson, the summit also covered grants for cities to plan their respective responses to homelessness, as well as the public health response to the local hepatitis A outbreak. Last year’s summit was held in South Gate.

County CEO Sachi Hamai