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Mayor Karen Bass Commends County Board for Declaring Emergency on Homelessness

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LOS ANGELES, CA: A homeless woman is seen in Los Angeles, California on December 20, 2022. (Tayfun Coşkun - Anadolu Agency)
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Jan 12, 2023 - 10:57 AM

Los Angeles – Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass today commended the County Board of Supervisors’ unanimous approval of an emergency declaration on homelessness that was proposed by Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s and Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath’s. The declaration follows Mayor Bass’ declaration of an emergency on homelessness on day one of her administration and the County Board of Supervisors subsequent unanimous vote in support of her declaration that was proposed by Board of Supervisors Chair Janice Hahn.

“I want to thank Supervisor Horvath, Supervisor Barger and the entire Board of Supervisors for unanimously locking arms between the County and the City by declaring an emergency on homelessness crisis,” said Mayor Bass. “The people of Los Angeles deserve that we urgently and immediately take every possible action to bring unhoused Angelenos indoors, and this declaration will enable us to move faster and unlock every tool possible. I look forward to a continued and close working relationship with the Board and the County as we confront this crisis together, head on.”

The County’s emergency declaration directs the Chief Executive Office (CEO), Homeless Initiative (HI), Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and all other County Departments to take necessary steps for the protection of life, health, and safety of people experiencing homelessness in LA County.

“Today’s action by the Board honors the November mandate from LA County voters: lead with urgency and transparency to address the homelessness crisis in every neighborhood,” said Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath. “This critical motion ensures that the County is efficiently using every single resource at our disposal to treat this crisis with the attention it deserves. When we work together – with Mayor Bass, Mayor Richardson, our regional partners, and people with lived experience showing us the way – I am confident that we will get people into housing for good, the care they need and deserve, and results for every community in Los Angeles County.”

“This emergency proclamation boils down to cutting red tape,” stated Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “It’s the County’s job to provide the critical mental health, substance abuse treatment, and case management services that make a world of difference in helping people experiencing homelessness get off our streets and back on their feet. Our efforts have been persistently hampered by a lack of personnel and bureaucratic processes that slow down our ability to hire, fill positions, and contract for services. I am a proud co-author of this motion because we must continue battling homelessness with urgency and use all the tools at our disposal to do so.”

The emergency declaration directs County departments to facilitate streamlined and accelerated contracting, procurement, and hiring, to facilitate the necessary operational needs of such an emergency proclamation. It directs County Departments to accelerate timelines for the creation of licensed beds, interim housing, and permanent housing for those experiencing homelessness, while also directing service providers and outreach teams to provide accelerated access to County services.

Additionally, the declaration directs the County CEO to identify existing and additional funding streams for such operations, and directs Countywide Communications to develop and implement a communication plan to interact with the public and all regional partners on the progress being made.

Mayor Bass’ emergency declaration immediately gives her the power to lift rules and regulations that slow or prevent the building of permanent and temporary housing for the unhoused; to expedite contracts that prioritize bringing unhoused Angelenos inside; and to allow the city to acquire rooms, properties and land for housing for Angelenos in need. Details and full text of the emergency declaration is available here.

To read the full emergency proclamation, click here.


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