Additional state funds fuel Los Angeles battle against homelessness

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State funds for homelessness will see a serious upgrade this year, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Monday. Officials announced at a press conference Los Angeles will receive about $124 million from Sacramento to fight homelessness.

But while Garcetti said the money would be put to good use, he also made it clear the amount is a far cry from the $2 billion dollars Los Angeles officials estimate are needed to put a dent in the growing homeless population.

“We all know that homelessness is perhaps the most complicated issue that we’ll confront in our lifetime,” Garcetti said during a news conference at the Homelessness Response Center downtown. “You always ask for what you need, but you get what you get. And we’re not upset, we’re actually quite pleased.”

Garcetti said about half of the $124 million earmarked for Los Angeles will go to the city’s interim housing program and shelters; $9 million will be put into alternative housing models including shared housing; and $7 million will go to addressing issues on Skid Row. Another $14 million will go toward prevention efforts, such as the eviction defense program and emergency rental assistance.

Garcetti also said three new shelters are set to open this summer, adding 230 new beds. Over 970 beds are expected to open in Los Angeles by the end of the year.

“We need to help homeless Angelenos move indoors as quickly as possible,” Garcetti said on Twitter. “Thanks to Proposition HHH and other funding sources, we have 110 supportive housing projects in the pipeline and 25 A Bridge Home sites open or in the works throughout Los Angeles.”

Los Angeles received about $85 million last year in homeless funding from the state.

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