Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis released the following statement after the Board of Supervisors passed her motion directing the CEO to report back on the availability of funding to expand the Sheriff’s Homeless Outreach Services Team (HOST):
“On June 13, 2017, the Board of Supervisors passed my motion to approve $6.6 million over three years in AB 109 funding for the HOST Teams. Funding for these teams is set to expire in June 2020, and it is critical that the County identify funding streams as soon as possible to avoid any lapse in service.
“HOST Teams have taken the lead in building rapport with the hundreds of people who live in encampments in the Los Angeles, Rio Hondo, and San Gabriel rivers. HOST members have coordinated efforts among County Departments, service providers, and other agencies to ensure the safety of those living in these encampments by connecting them to wraparound services and housing. To date, 30 local police departments throughout LA County have received funding to create their own HOST Teams.
“But until we can offer every individual permanent housing, the fact remains that most people will continue to turn to law enforcement when there is an incident involving someone who is experiencing homelessness. That is why we must ensure that our law enforcement-led homeless outreach teams have sufficient staffing levels and the appropriate training and resources they need to effectively help our unsheltered neighbors.
“I look forward to increased participation from our local cities and their police departments. The County, in partnership with local cities, must extend a helping hand to uplift our brothers and sisters who are experiencing homelessness.”
Today’s motion also directs the County to work with HOST and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to prepare a 90-day report back with recommendations on enhancing HOST training and tracking outcomes more effectively. It is important to ensure accountability and a review of outcomes data to support the expansion of HOST.
Contact: Rosa Maria Santana, Deputy Communications Director, 213-359-0795, or firstname.lastname@example.org