L.A. County adds $50 million to funds for fighting homelessness

A week after Los Angeles city officials announced a plan to commit $100 million toward addressing homelessness, Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to add $50 million in funding for the issue as part of their midyear budget update.

The move brings the county's total planned spending to combat homelessness to about $100 million for the year as well. 

A detailed plan for spending most of the money has yet to be worked out.

But the supervisors agreed Tuesday to put $905,000 toward opening up more shelter beds during the winter months, when heavy El Niño rains are anticipated.

Supervisor Hilda Solis said that already this year, people had to be rescued from rushing water in the Los Angeles River near Cypress Park and the San Jose Creek in the City of Industry and in Pomona and South El Monte after storms.

An additional $1.1 million will go to help with moving costs for homeless veterans using housing vouchers.

Over the next several months, county officials will hold a series of public meetings and develop a plan on how to use the rest of the money, with a report due out in February.

More than 44,000 homeless people were counted throughout the county in January, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, up from more than 39,000 in 2013. 

"This is nothing short of a crisis, and we have to recognize it as such and address it," Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said.

Follow Abby Sewell on Twitter at @sewella for more county news.

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
70°