This month, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors joined outreach workers, service providers, and community members to approve the Measure H budget for the next fiscal year.
Passed with the overwhelming support of voters in 2017, Measure H created a quarter-of-a-cent sales tax to fund homeless services, like street outreach workers, short-term housing, and the services that are provided with supportive housing. The press conference last week was both a report on the progress we have made thus far, and a review of the spending plan for the next year.
Supervisor Hilda Solis discussed some of the powerful examples of expanded housing and services that Measure H has helped pay for. Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Sheila Kuehl also spoke about the impact of preventative programs that keep people in safe and stable homes, such as tenant protections and rapid-rehousing.
Another indicator of progress: In the last year, outreach teams contacted a record number of people experiencing homelessness and more people than ever were placed into permanent housing.
Together with the City of L.A.’s Prop. HHH, which funds the construction of supportive and affordable housing, Measure H represents the first major investment we have ever made in the fight to end homelessness through a dedicated local revenue source.
As Supervisor Janice Hahn said, “We are going to address this unprecedented problem with unprecedented resources.”
L.A. is building a countywide system to make sure that our resources are distributed where they are needed most. But funding, alone, is not enough to bring everyone in.
We also need everyone to stand up and say “YES” to solutions in their own communities, across L.A. County.
As Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas concluded, “Combatting homelessness does not just require resolve, it requires investment and action.”