To assist local communities in preventing and addressing homelessness, a bipartisan coalition of members from the California State Senate introduced the “No Place like Home” initiative at The Star Apartments on Skid Row on Monday. The landmark initiative proposes over $2 billion in support.
“This bipartisan legislative package will help secure progress in tackling homelessness and provide a key to health and hope for many Californians who have no place to go,” said Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles). “Coming off the holiday season, I can think of no better way to start the legislative session than in Skid Row focused on lifting those without voices in our political process.”
California has the nation’s largest homeless population. The 114,000 homeless people who live across the state make up 22 percent of the nation’s homeless population, and Los Angeles is the homeless capital of the country with nearly 42,000 homeless residents.
The proposal is crafted to fight homelessness using a localized approach sustained by a strategic statewide commitment. The proposals will help empower local governments by providing additional resources and flexibility to better serve homeless individuals and families by increasing access to affordable housing, addressing the effects of income inequality and extending programs for homeless.
The proposal calls for a $2 billion bond to construct permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless persons with mental illness, as well as $200 million over four years to provide supportive housing in the shorter-term, also rent subsidies, while the permanent housing is constructed or rehabilitated.
More than one third of the nation’s chronically homeless live in California – including those with mental illness or other significant problems, and a higher percentage of homeless women. Of the 28,200 chronically homeless in California, nearly 85 percent are unsheltered, and this group consumes the greatest amount of taxpayers’ resources, often more than $100,000 annually per person in costs to the public for emergency room visits, hospital stays, law enforcement and other social services.
“I applaud our state lawmakers under the leadership of Senate President pro Tem Kevin De Leon and former Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg for continuing the conversation on Prop 63 – an incredible resource to combat the homelessness epidemic,” said Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, 13th District. “One can only imagine how much worse things would be without the funding it provides. This is a statewide conversation that started in Los Angeles due to the increased homelessness faced in communities across the City, and today’s announcement is the first [of] many steps we must take to provide those living on the streets with the opportunity to move into permanent supportive housing.”
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