Taking action to end homelessness

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Homelessness impacts the lives of Angelenos from South Los Angeles to Studio City. Finding effective ways to tackle this crisis is the primary focus of my work at City Hall and in our East Valley neighborhoods.

I want to tell you about two initiatives that I’m working on to help end homelessness in our city. In late February, I joined five of my City Council colleagues to announce the 222 Plan, a new citywide initiative to build supportive housing units in our communities to shelter the homeless.

The resolution calls on each councilmember to build a minimum of 222 Measure HHH-funded housing units in their district by July 1, 2020. If we all take this on, we will create a minimum of 3,330 supportive housing units across all 15 council districts in that time.

I want to tell you about two initiatives that I’m working on to help end homelessness…

I’m proud to report that, although we just launched the 222 Plan, we are already nearly halfway to meeting our goal in Council District 2. With the 64-unit Crest Apartments that recently opened in Van Nuys and another 50 unit building in the works, I am confident that we will get to 222 units and, hopefully, even more by 2020.

In addition, last month marked the completion of the first year of my innovative pilot program that pairs rapid rehousing with job training to get people off the streets and prevent them from falling back into homelessness. Over the course of a year, the pilot program worked with a total of 59 homeless people in the San Fernando Valley and South Los Angeles to help them get housing and a job. It brought together the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and the Los Angeles Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise to provide rapid rehousing subsidies and job training through employment with nonprofit organizations.

Now that we have the results of the pilot’s inaugural year, I can say that the program was instructive and, more importantly, successful in meeting many of our goals. Despite many challenges encountered, more than one third of all participants are now on their way to housing and steady employment, major steps that could very well set them on a path toward lifelong independence. This is an extremely positive sign, not just for the impacted individuals, but also for those of us who want to find lasting solutions to the homelessness crisis.

The 222 plan and the pilot program are concrete steps in the right direction. They show that, where there is a will, there is a way to increase the level of housing and services in our districts.

If you have additional ideas or comments about homelessness, please email me at paul.krekorian@lacity.org.

Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Krekorian, chair of the Budget and Finance Committee and the Ad Hoc Committee on Job Creation, represents Council District 2, which includes North Hollywood, Studio City, Valley Village and other communities in the East Valley.

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