National Honor for LA County
Plan to Fight Homelessness

L-R: LA County Homeless Initiative Director Phil Ansell, CEO Sachi Hamai and Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas, joined by National Alliance to End Homelessness President and CEO Nan Roman and the event emcee, PBS News Hour anchor Judy Woodruff. All photos by Larry Levin.

The National Alliance to End Homelessness honored Los Angeles County at its 2017 Innovation and Excellence Awards in Washington D.C.

The Alliance praised the County’s Homeless Initiative and Measure H, which over the next five years is expected to end homelessness for about 45,000 individuals and families, and prevent homelessness for 30,000 more.

“Ending homelessness in any community demands a relentless focus on innovation and pursuit of excellence,” Alliance President and CEO Nan Roman said. “This year’s awardees demonstrate the power and potential to create lasting change and put us on the road to ending homelessness.”

Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas accepted the award on behalf of the County, accompanied by County Chief Executive Officer Sachi Hamai, and Homeless Initiative Director Phil Ansell.

“The County is honored to be recognized nationally for developing the Homeless Initiative and providing an ongoing source of revenue through Measure H that will put us on a path to prevent and end homelessness,” Chairman Ridley-Thomas said. “We have much to do, but thanks to the voters and support from a broad-based coalition of community partners, we’re confident we can finally address this humanitarian crisis head on with the resources needed to effect real change.”

The Alliance said the Homeless Initiative collected broad-based community input on how to focus the County’s efforts to end homelessness. The Board, acting on motions principally authored by Chairman Ridley-Thomas, then declared a state of emergency on homelessness and adopted an ordinance to authorize a quarter-cent countywide special sales tax. The ballot measure, known as Measure H, passed with support from almost 70 percent of voters and is expected to raise $355 million in annual revenue over the next decade to combat homelessness.

During the ceremony, awards were also handed out to the Oxford Street Shelter in Portland, Maine, and to the Central City Concern in Portland, Oregon.

The Alliance is nonprofit and nonpartisan organization committed to preventing and ending homelessness in the U.S. It analyzes policy and develops pragmatic, cost-effective policy solutions; works collaboratively with the public, private and nonprofit sectors to build state and local capacity; and provides data and research to policymakers and elected officials to inform policy debates and educate the public and opinion leaders nationwide.