Los Angeles elected leaders announced Tuesday that they will declare a “state of emergency” on the growing homelessness problem in the city and commit $100 million toward housing and other services for homeless people.
The proposal, which was presented at a City Hall press conference attended by City Council members and Mayor Eric Garcetti, coincides with a Garcetti administration proposal, issued late Monday, that aims to free up nearly $13 million in newly anticipated excess tax revenue for short-term housing initiatives.
If approved, the pair of initiatives could significantly increase the resources dedicated to tackling homelessness in a city where the majority of the 26,000 homeless people live on the streets.
“It’s not a skid row problem. It’s a problem that’s proliferated throughout the city,” Councilman Gilbert Cedillo told The Times in an interview. He was joined by several council members at the press conference.
“If we want to be a great city that hosts the Olympics and shows itself off to the world,” Cedillo said, “we shouldn’t have 25,000 to 50,000 people sleeping on the streets.”
Garcetti told reporters that city and county officials are tackling a “heartbreaking crisis” that has gripped L.A. for decades. “Today we’re going to tackle it head-on,” he said.
“This city has pushed this problem from neighborhood to neighborhood for too long, from bureaucracy to bureaucracy, pointing fingers,” Garcetti added.