Newsom Pledges $250 Million To Combat Homelessness In LA

Gov. Gavin Newsom attends a meeting with residents at a board and care home in Central L.A. on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. (Alyssa Jeong Perry/LAist)

Governor Gavin Newsom said Tuesday that the Los Angeles area will be getting a quarter of a billion dollars from the state to put towards decreasing homelessness.

He made the announcement during a stop in L.A. on his statewide homelessness tour, which kicked off earlier this week.

Newsom visited a board and care home (also called a residential care facility or group home) in central L.A.

Board and care homes house adults who need care, such as mental health issues, but don't need skilled nursing services. They can be a refuge for people on the verge of homelessness.

But these homes are rapidly closing across the state, and especially in Los Angeles County. Why?

  • Reimbursement rates from the state haven't kept up with costs.
  • High demand for L.A. real estate can lure building owners toward higher-value uses.

In the last three years, 39 board and care homes closed across the county, according to the California Community Care Licensing Division.

In December, county lawmakers and advocates for the homeless asked Newsom for $500 million of the state's new budget to preserve board and care homes.

Newsom appeared to have been listening.

"We no longer can assume that a city, even as large as L.A., even as extraordinarily large as L.A. County can do this alone," Newsom said Tuesday.

The governor's proposed budget for the coming fiscal year includes more than $1 billion to tackle homelessness. Of that, $750 million was put towards a new California Access to Housing and Service Fund, which will be used, in part, to stabilize board and cares.

UPDATE:

6:35 p.m.: This article was updated to include information from Newsom's visit to L.A.

This article was originally published at 2:15 p.m.

Correction: A previous version of this story erroneously located the facility visited by Newsom in South L.A. LAist regrets the error.