IN THE NEWS

PPTFH tracks initiatives and legislation that relate to homelessness in Pacific Palisades and Los Angeles. Two policy areas, in particular, impact PPTFH’s—and LA’s—ability to successfully address the homelessness issue: mental health (especially involving the gravely disabled) and housing. Links to informative articles chronicling developments in these two areas are provided here.

HOUSING

January 13, 2020

Voters could decide if California cities will be punished for not reducing homelessness
If approved by voters, the mandate would allow the state to sue cities and counties — or even itself — if the number of people living outdoors in encampments and vehicles doesn’t decline... The mandate, if approved, would accomplish the same thing as the “right to
shelter” plan but without a requirement that homeless people accept services.

January 11, 2020

California governor seeks $1.4 billion to combat homelessness as crisis grows
“[We’re] using every tool in the toolbox — from proposing a massive new infusion of state dollars in the budget that goes directly to homeless individuals’ emergency housing and treatment programs, to building short-term emergency housing on vacant state-owned land,” Newsom said.

January 7, 2020

It took three years of blown deadlines, but L.A. opens its first homeless housing project
The development at 88th and Vermont is the first Proposition HHH housing project to open about 20 under construction. Work will begin on another 30 in 2020.

December 20, 2019

In 2019, homelessness truly felt like a crisis in every corner of L.A.

A brief recap of the homeless crisis in L.A.

December 17, 2019

Supreme Court lets stand ruling that protects homeless people who sleep on sidewalks

The Supreme Court refused to hear a major case on homelessness, letting stand a ruling that protects homeless people’s right to sleep on the sidewalk or in public parks if no other shelter is available. By this action, the Court has clarified that cities must provide some form of acceptable shelter for each homeless person in their jurisdiction.

December 17, 2019

Justices’ message to cities: Build more housing

For Los Angeles, the Supreme Court’s decision on Boise vs. Martin provides clear direction that more affordable housing and supportive shelter must be made available to house Los Angeles’ homeless population.

December 10, 2019

This new LA County map tracks homeless population density and shelter capacity across LA
The map’s layers color-code the number of homeless individuals in any given area — based on the 2019 point-in-time count — the number of shelter beds available, and the pipeline of new shelters and permanent supportive housing.

December 2, 2019

Top Los Angeles homeless official steps down as crisis deepens
Peter Lynn, who saw homelessness rise 33% during his five years as head of the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority, said he would leave the job by Dec. 3. The agency said its chief program officer, Heidi Marston, would serve as acting director during a nationwide search for Lynn’s replacement.

November 18, 2019

California Kicks Off $2 Billion Bond Program to Fight Homelessness
“It’s not only housing, but it’s social services that are delivered,” said James Lyman, director of research for the municipal fixed-income team at Neuberger Berman. “You’re not just taking homeless people and making them invisible. You’re trying to resolve the problem.”

August 26, 2019

You can’t see the results yet, but L.A.s HHH homeless housing is being built

8,000 units of permanent housing will be constructed using HHH funds. 1,000 of which are expected to be ready to occupy in 2020. An additional 3,713 are forecast to open in 2021.

 

August 24, 2019

These six developers say they can build housing for homeless people faster and cheaper

Responding to a challenge from Mayor Eric Garcetti, developers proposed various strategies to build housing for the homeless faster and cheaper.

 

Venice couple work outside the system to house homeless

John Betz and Heidi Roberts of the nonprofit Haaven offer shared housing for chronically homeless.

 

August 7, 2019

Newsom sidesteps right-to-shelter plan, but says homeless on streets ‘cannot persist’

Newsom rejects the plan proposed by Darrell Steinberg and Mark Ridley Thomas to build shelter for every homeless person and enact forced acceptance of shelter.

 

July 21, 2019

Desperate to ease homelessness, California officials look to New York ‘right to shelter’ policy

Homeless Task Force co-chairs, Darrell Steinberg and Mark Ridley-Thomas, consider a policy that requires enough shelter to be provided for every homeless person that wants to come indoors.

 

July 17, 2019

Op-Ed: Building more permanent housing alone won’t solve homelessness in California

Darrell Steinberg’s op-ed explaining his right-to-shelter plan.

“The right to shelter must be paired with the obligation to use it. Living on the streets should not be considered a civil right.”

 

July 21, 2019

L.A. says it got 21,631 homeless housing. Is that really true?

A breakdown of the types of accommodations the 21,631 housed homeless found last year. 

 

June 26, 2019

Nobody Knows What to Do About L.A.’s Homelessness Crisis

An overview of the issues surrounding the homeless crisis in L.A.

 

June 18, 2019

L.A. to explore lease agreements with motels to house chronically homeless

L.A. County Board of Supervisors to look into leasing motel rooms for interim housing and motel parking lots for Safe Parking program.

 

June 11, 2019

Empty apartments in L.A. would be taxed under plan to help homeless

Los Angeles landlords who keep apartments empty to wait for higher rents could face a new tax under a plan to help the city's homeless.

 

June 5, 2019

Homeless Populations Are Surging in Los Angeles. Here’s Why.

“Our housing crisis is our homeless crisis”—Elise Buik, president and chief executive of the United Way of Greater Los Angeles

 

June 4, 2019

Column: Housing the Homeless hits NIMBY wall in ‘progressive’ Venice

Venice residents fight back against proposals to build shelters in their community

 

June 4, 2019

Los Angeles homelessness rises sharply as housing crisis deepens

A major factor cited for the worsening situation was the rising cost of housing, coupled with wage stagnation at the lower end of the income spectrum that has led to a housing affordability crisis across Southern California.

 

April 21, 2019

How close is L.A. to building 10,000 houses for homeless people? Here’s a breakdown

To get close to the 10,000-unit goal of Proposition HHH, they will need to tap other sources of funding from the state and employ new ideas for building housing less expensively.

 

February 13, 2018

Here’s how Finland Solved its Homelessness Problem

Most homelessness policies work on the premise that the homeless person has to sort their problems out before they can get permanent accommodation. Finland does the opposite - it gives them a home first.

 

 

MENTAL ILLNESS

January 7, 2020

L.A. County can help thousands of mentally ill inmates avoid arrest and homelessness, study finds
More than 60% of the inmates with a mental illness in the Los Angeles County Jail would be eligible for diversion if there were more facilities capable of providing supportive care, according to a study released Tuesday.

December 3, 2019

LA County Will Add 500 Badly Needed Mental Health Treatment Beds
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to add 500 mental health treatment beds over the next two years, as part of a larger effort to increase services for Angelenos who need psychiatric help.

October 7, 2019

Are many homeless people in L.A. mentally ill? New findings back the public’s perception
LAHSA said only 29% of the homeless population had either a mental illness or substance abuse disorder. The Times, however, found that about 67% had either a mental illness or a substance abuse disorder.

 

July 30, 2019

Why are more mentally ill wandering SF streets? Report gives answers

Plunging conservatorship numbers in SF mean more severely mentally ill people deteriorating on the streets.

 

June 28, 2019

State to audit how LA County applies law on committing mentally ill people

After the bill to amend the definition of ‘gravely disabled’ failed to pass, the next step is to see how the law is being carried out, whether it is consistent and effective, and if it needs updates and improvements.

 

June 26, 2019

Councilmembers Call for Court-ordered Help for Those with Severe Mental Health or Substance Abuse Issus

After SB 1045 passed in San Francisco, counclmembers Jose Huizar and David Ryu call for implementation of the bill in Los Angeles

 

June 5, 2019

After Months of Contentious Arguments, S.F. Passes Mental Health Conservatorship Bill

SB 1045 passed in San Francisco. LA and San Diego haven’t yet pursued the implementation of the bill.

 

May 22, 2019

Gov. Newsom names Darrell Steinberg to co-chair homeless task force and Dr. Tom Insel to be a key advisor on mental health policy

Dr. Tom Insel, former Director of NIMH, will be a voluntary advisor to Gov. Newsom’s homelessness task force.

 

April 22, 2019

Mentally ill people keep going to jail. But a study says L.A. County can fix that

The Office of Diversion and Reentry for mentally ill inmates has been a success and will be expanded by 500 beds a year.

 

April 17, 2019

L.A. County Dept of Mental Health Director on homelessness, schools, jails, and more

Jonathan Sherin M.D., Ph.D. talks about what an ideal mental health care system would look like in L.A

 

April 10, 2019

Aiming to help homeless, UCLA residents practice ‘street psychology

Spurred in part by their students, psychiatry faculty are now working to help people who are homeless get better mental health care and permanent housing

 

November 19, 2018

Demedicalization of Mental Illness Often Leaves Homeless in the Lurch

Many of the consequences of mental illness—including homelessness—are seen as falling outside the scope of medical care. The criminal justice system often ends up filling the void left by demedicalization.

 

Elyn Saks asks bold questions about how society treats people with mental illness.

If you missed our guest speaker, watch her powerful Ted talk from 2012, or buy her book, The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness

October 2, 2018

LA County Gets More Power To Force Severely Mentally Ill Homeless Into Treatment

SB 1045 allows three CA counties (LA, SF, SD) to place someone under conservatorship for treatment for mental illness or addiction if they have been on a 5150 hold eight times in one year

 

August 29, 2018

Why is it so hard to get mentally ill Californians into treatment? Three bills tell the tale

The argument for and against changing the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act; and the bills proposed to help homeless individuals with mental illness get treatment.

"It’s hard to accept that in a state with such riches, there are so many tens of thousands of homeless people, and so many barriers to helping obviously afflicted people. But over the past 18 months in the Palisades, the efforts by volunteers, public and non-profit employees have led to a 40% decline in the homeless population..."

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