Last June, the Board of Supervisors approved a motion, authored by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, that allocated $6.6 million in unallocated AB109 funding to create law enforcement Homeless Outreach Services Teams (HOST). Building upon last year’s success, today the Board of Supervisors approved a motion authored by Supervisor Solis, and co-authored by Supervisor Kathryn Barger, that carries over unspent funding and asks the County Chief Executive Officer to identify and recommend additional funding options to expand HOST teams throughout the County.
“County staff and nonprofits often won’t venture into homeless encampments without a police or sheriff escort,” said Supervisor Solis. “Today’s motion addresses this safety issue and ensures a steady stream of funding for cities and others who are on the frontlines of the homeless crisis. Furthermore, by identifying other sources of funding, today’s action will assist cities in planning their homeless outreach efforts over the next few years. LA County is committed to working closely with our cities and providing them with the funding they need to provide services and housing to our friends, families, and neighbors who are suffering from homelessness.”
“Because of our HOST teams, the homeless individuals in our communities have better-than-ever access to services. When these teams build relationships with people in need, it opens doors to providing mental and physical health support, housing resources, and so much more,” said Supervisor Barger.
The motion last June has proven to be very effective in helping HOST teams engage individuals experiencing homelessness. The LA Sheriff’s Department HOST team contacted roughly 500 unique people, some multiple times, in 2018. Through this funding, approximately 1,352 LA Sheriff’s Department deputies and sergeants were received first responder training, including officers from the California Highway Patrol, Monterey Park Police Department, Alhambra Police Department, West Covina Police Department, El Monte Police Department, Baldwin Park Police Department, South Gate Police Department, Long Beach Police Department, and the San Gabriel Police Department. Approximately 245 staff from County departments such as Animal Care and Control, Parks and Recreation, and Public Works, including City of Norwalk public safety and maintenance staff, also received training.
If additional funding is identified by the CEO, increased one-time funding would further enhance this effectiveness and increase the number of people who could be served. Furthermore, additional funding would serve as a positive incentive for continued expansion of homeless outreach services, bolstering collaboration between local police departments and service providers throughout LA County.
Michael Kapp, Communications Director, (213) 974-4111 or firstname.lastname@example.org