A Post-Pandemic Housing Plan for the Homeless
The Board of Supervisors voted to develop a COVID-19 Recovery Plan specifically for people experiencing homelessness, with the goal of keeping all those brought indoors during the crisis housed for the long-term.
The May 12th motion by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Mark Ridley-Thomas directed LA County to provide an array of resources to ensure that all homeless people who have been provided with a temporary place to stay during the pandemic – including those in hotels and motels under Project Roomkey – can successfully transition to other housing opportunities and ultimately end their homelessness permanently.
The May 12th motion complements an April 14th motion by Supervisors Ridley-Thomas and Janice Hahn to advance a local Comprehensive Crisis Response to address homelessness and to develop post-pandemic housing plans those aged 65 and older.
Strategies to house those aged 65 and older, as well as those under 65 with chronic underlying health conditions, will be consolidated and streamlined to create a comprehensive approach that considers short, medium and long-range housing plans for the entire spectrum of need.
“In the midst of a global pandemic, LA County has activated an unprecedented public-private partnership with cities, private hotel owners, public sector healthcare staff, disaster service worker volunteers, and community-based nonprofit service providers to house vulnerable residents across our region,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “We must maintain this momentum to ensure all those brought indoors can stay indoors.”
“This motion will amplify the County’s ongoing work to secure local, state and federal revenue to implement a Comprehensive Crisis Response strategy,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas added. “There can be no truer test of our values than this collective effort to bring our most vulnerable inside and connect them to long-term stable housing.”
“Since the pandemic began,” Supervisor Kuehl said, “LA County and City have done something remarkable. We placed nearly 5,000 medically fragile men and women who were homeless in temporary housing. With this motion, we take the next step and ask for a plan to identify and pay for permanent housing for these elderly and sick individuals, many of whom suffer from serious medical and/or mental illness. No one wants to see these very frail men and women released back to the streets.”
The May 12th and April 14th motions both build on action that Supervisors Ridley-Thomas and Hahn initiated on January 21st, when the Board directed County Departments to examine the Comprehensive Crisis Response Strategy issued by Governor Gavin Newsom’s Council of Regional Homeless Advisors, co-chaired by Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and co-chaired by Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, and to develop the framework for establishing a legal obligation to provide housing.
In a report back to the Board dated March 24th, a workgroup of County Departments proposed implementing or scaling up 16 of the Comprehensive Crisis Response strategies. It also proposed a pilot program that would focus on ensuring housing for homeless people aged 65 years or older. The April 14th motion called for creating that program.
The May 12th motion will consolidate and streamline Board strategies for both those aged 65 and older, as well as those under 65 with chronic underlying health conditions.