Three years ago this month, people in the city of L.A. voted to tax themselves in order to create housing for their most vulnerable neighbors experiencing homelessness. Prop. HHH passed with more than 77% of the vote, showing overwhelming support for real, permanent solutions to this crisis.
In the years since, L.A. has approved funding for more than 8,000 units of supportive housing. To put things in perspective, the city was producing roughly 300 units a year before HHH. Add it all up and L.A. has approved more supportive housing in the last three years than it did in the previous 30.
Supportive housing is 90% effective at ending homelessness because it comes bundled with on-site services such as job training and mental health care. These homes are designed specifically for those who have the most difficult time staying housed.
Let’s be clear: Homelessness has gone up in the years since HHH passed. There are a lot of reasons for this, primarily the extreme shortage of homes people can afford. Roughly 600,000 people in L.A. spend 90% of their income on housing. Most of those people don’t need supportive housing—they need a home they can afford. According to the latest homeless count, 53% of unsheltered people in Los Angeles right now are experiencing homelessness for the very first time.
HHH won’t end the housing and homelessness crisis on its own. But it will provide safety and stability to thousands of the most vulnerable. And it is serving as a model, both locally and across the country, of how we can truly solve homelessness: by creating homes.
It’s important to remember where we were before HHH. We had no dedicated funding for housing or homelessness and no dedicated funding for homeless services. Los Angeles spent decades simply avoiding the problem and ignoring thousands of lives impacted by homelessness.
HHH ignited a movement. A few months after it passed, voters across L.A. County approved Measure H, which has tripled our homeless services system and committed real resources, for the first time, to services and solutions.
Everyone In was born in the wake of these two historic ballot measures with a mission to make sure the promised housing got approved and keep the momentum going to create more. It’s also our mission to call out success where we see it and keep L.A. unified and motivated to end this housing and homelessness crisis.
This month, we’re raising awareness about HHH and all the good work that’s happening. It’s easy to see tents on our streets and lose faith in our ability to solve big problems. We cannot allow that to happen. Share this post with someone you know and help us spread the word. Together, we will ensure Los Angeles continues to invest in housing and solutions that work. We cannot go back.