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Sacramento meeting focuses on boosting homeless assistance funds

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Sacramento, California – On Tuesday, Mayor Karen Bass of Los Angeles, together with leaders from the California Big City Mayors Coalition, is scheduled to meet with Governor Gavin Newsom and other key lawmakers in Sacramento. They will request additional funds for homeless services. Their focus will be on increasing support for California’s Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention (HHAP) grant program.

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Since 2018, California has given local governments direct funding to help combat homelessness. The mayors plan to share the progress their cities have made using these funds and discuss ongoing challenges, including managing encampments and reducing homelessness.

Mayors Farrah Khan of Irvine and Rex Richardson of Long Beach will also attend the meeting in Sacramento. Over the last five years, California has allocated $24 billion towards solving the homelessness crisis. A recent national report highlights a 6% increase in homelessness from 2022 to 2023. This meeting follows Mayor Bass’s proposal of a $12.8 billion budget for Los Angeles for the fiscal year 2024-25, which is less than the current year’s $242 million budget. Her budget plans to dedicate $185 million to the Inside Safe program, marking a $65 million reduction from the current year.

Several California mayors plan to share the progress their cities have made regarding homelessness using state grants

On Monday, the Supreme Court spent over two and a half hours deliberating whether ticketing homeless individuals constitutes “cruel and unusual” punishment, potentially violating the Eighth Amendment.

Of the proposed funding, approximately $70 million is designated for interim housing solutions such as motel rooms. An additional $60 million is intended to fund social services at these locations, including health care, meals, case management, housing navigation, and substance abuse programs. Around $28 million is set aside for permanent housing and temporary subsidies, with another $24 million earmarked for acquiring housing.

Mayor Bass also suggested allocating $2 million to enhance street medicine teams that provide healthcare services directly to homeless individuals. Her office reported that over 6,000 medical exams have been performed by these teams this fiscal year.

Furthermore, $3 million is proposed to bolster the Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise (LA Rise) program, which offers job opportunities to unhoused individuals. An additional $4.1 million is planned for mobile hygiene centers. About $17 million is allocated to FamilySource Centers, which support families at risk of homelessness.

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Efforts to create affordable housing are set to receive $4.4 million from state grants, aimed at accelerating the development of mixed-income housing projects that include affordable units. City officials plan to significantly increase funding for homelessness prevention, raising Measure ULA contributions from $150 million to over $400 million. Passed in 2022 by Los Angeles voters, Measure ULA, also known as the “Mansion Tax,” applies a special tax on property sales over $5 million.

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