Supervisors seek to streamline delivery of homeless services

FILE PHOTO. A homeless camp photographed in April 2018 inside private property in the hills behind the 26300 block of Diamond Place. Cory Rubin/The Signal

County supervisors have ordered staffers to streamline the process of homelessness relief funds getting to the homeless.

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors directed county staff to hammer out a plan that would streamline the contracting processes with local cities to ensure more efficient delivery of homeless services and resources through Measure H.

Measure H was approved on the 2017 L.A. County ballot calling for the sales tax to be raised by one-quarter of a cent. The revenues over the next 10 years would go to provide services for the homeless in all cities in the county — including Santa Clarita.

“Combatting the crisis of homelessness in Los Angeles County is a task that cannot be tackled by one entity alone,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who co-wrote the motion with Supervisor Hilda Solis.

“Just as every individual’s experience of homelessness is unique, the set of solutions created to address the issue, as well as the stakeholders involved in implementing those solutions, must be appropriately comprehensive,” she said.

Los Angeles County is collecting and allocating an unprecedented level of resources to combat homelessness, Barger and Solis pointed out to the board.

Distributing these resources has met some challenges in the contracting process. There are also opportunities to improve communication and data sharing mechanisms with cities, continuums of care, and councils of governments.

“Today’s board motion will streamline the way the county contracts with our cities in the delivery of local homeless services, and it will improve the county’s communication with cities,” Solis said. “Enhanced communications and a streamlined contracting process will lead to innovative countywide solutions that will allow us to offer our most vulnerable residents permanent housing.”

Tuesday’s action directs the CEO Homeless Initiative and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to enhance their efforts to engage cities and continuums of care and to support their unique solutions including prevention, rapid rehousing, outreach and enhanced services for transitional age youth.

The supervisors expect to see a report on the plan within 45 days, with recommendations on the enhancement, including regular listening sessions and communication mechanisms for a meaningful exchange of information, including city-level data on Measure-H funded services.

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