/Bass says 4,000 will be housed during its first 100 days

Bass says 4,000 will be housed during its first 100 days

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said Wednesday that she hopes the city will have housed more than 4,000 homeless Angelenos by her 100th day in office.

Bass, who appeared with his team at a town hall discussion on homelessness, said he expects about 1,000 of those people to come from his Inside Safe program, which has been getting homeless people off the streets and checking them into hotels and motels rented by the city. Of the remaining 3,000, the vast majority benefit from housing programs that were put in place before Bass took office, his team said.

The mayoress arrives this Tuesday at her 100th day.

Inside Safe has gone to 13 locations so far, most recently heading to Echo Park and Skid Row. Those operations have brought more than 500 people inside so far, including 62 who entered permanent housing with supportive services, the mayor’s team said.

Between now and next week, Bass intends to reach 1,000 in part by conducting more camping operations. Additionally, homeless people are being moved from winter-weather homeless shelters to temporary housing, including the LA Grand Hotel, which has been operating as a city homeless center since the COVID-19 outbreak. . The mayor reached an agreement several weeks ago to keep the hotel open beyond its scheduled closing date of January 31.

Bass said the Inside Safe initiative has disproved the idea that homeless people “don’t want to get off the streets.”

“We have met people who said they don’t want to go,” he said. “But on moving day, or moving day, when the bus arrives, even the people who said they weren’t going, when they see other people leaving, they jump on the bus.”

Homelessness has been the main problem for Bass since he took office in mid-December. She declared a citywide emergency over homelessness, ordered reports on city property that may be used for new housing, and worked to strengthen ties with her counterparts in the county, state, and federal government.

During last year’s mayoral campaign, Bass said he would move 17,000 homeless people indoors in his first year, based on strategies that would cost $292 million.

Sitting next to homeless zara Mercedes Marquez, Bass said her team has also faced a series of problems in the past three months. In Westlake, her office had to get a group of homeless residents out of a motel after learning she had a serious roach problem. On the West Side, her team discovered that motel rates were often too expensive and had to send camp residents to motels in other neighborhoods.

City leaders are still developing a strategy to get the homeless out of the hundreds of RVs that line the city streets. One problem, the mayor said, is that many homeless people are renting those RVs from private owners. “We haven’t cracked that nut, but we’re working on it,” the mayor said.

Speaking to reporters, the mayor’s team said more than 2,700 of the 4,000 homeless people housed have received help as a result of decisions made before Bass took office. For example, he said, the city completed 614 permanent supportive housing units, with funds from Proposition HHH, the $1.2 billion bond measure approved by voters in 2016, long before Bass came to City Council.

The mayor said 1,336 homeless people have moved into temporary housing, such as “tiny house” villages. Of that total, his team takes credit for 36. Emergency housing vouchers helped another 775 people. Bass said his team is taking responsibility for 143.

Council President Paul Krekorian praised Bass for making homelessness a priority. “The efforts we are making are not the end, they are a beginning,” he said. “And I look forward to further progress in the coming year.”

Earlier this year, Krekorian and his colleagues freed up $50 million for Bass’ homeless initiatives. Of that total, more than $4 million has been spent and an additional $27 million has been allocated, much of it for motels, Bass said.

Some who work closely with homeless Angelenos expressed reservations about the mayor’s job. Peggy Lee Kennedy, a volunteer with the Venice Committee for Justice, said she is concerned to see some homeless people being moved away from the neighborhoods where they used to live.

In January, one of the first Inside Safe operations in Venice sent dozens of people to a motel near Hawthorne.

That motel “isn’t even in the city of Los Angeles. That is unincorporated Los Angeles County,” Kennedy said. For those with medical appointments on the Westside, “that’s like an hour and 40 minutes on the bus or something.”

Bitta Sharma, an organizer with the community group Mar Vista Voice, said she too has concerns. In Del Rey, she said, camp residents ended up being moved from one motel to another, living in three places for just six weeks, she said.

“From the very beginning, it seemed extremely disorganized,” Sharma said, “and traumatic for the people who were being transported to the hotels.”

Marquez, the homeless czar, said the mayor’s team is still learning as it creates a citywide strategy for interim housing, which is intended to serve as a bridge between encampments and permanent homes.

“Every day we get stronger and we learn from any mistake, blunder or painful experience that happens,” he said.