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Homelessness Program Gets Funding Boost (And Other Headlines)

A Black woman in a green suit jacket has a wide smile as she is photographed in front of a microphone.
Los Angeles Mayor-elect Karen Bass addresses a news conference after her L.A. mayoral election win on Nov. 17. She will be sworn into office Sunday.
(David McNew
Getty Images)
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On Thursday, Mayor Karen Bass got the funding she was looking for.

More money to shelter the unhoused

The Los Angeles City Council allotted an additional $250 million to her signature program to address homelessness, Inside Safe, which aims to bring people off the street and into motels.

The entire council got behind the request for what the top budget advisor called an “unprecedented” amount of money — with some conditions. The mayor’s office must provide two reports per month detailing how the money is being spent and offering metrics that can indicate how effective the program is. If not delivered, the funding could go away.

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This new oversight follows a report in LAist late last month by my colleague Nick Gerda, who wrote about the lack of transparency around Inside Safe and how the money has so far been spent.

But despite the transparency issues and the outside criticism the program has faced, this extra money for Inside Safe underscores the support Mayor Bass has from the council to deal the homelessness crisis in the city.

“By making record investments in homelessness, we all recognize that this is a humanitarian crisis, and it is the most pressing issue facing our city today,” said Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, who chairs the budget committee.

For more, read Nick’s latest article about Thursday’s unanimous decision by the city council to put more money behind the mayor’s plans.

We’re here to help curious Angelenos connect with others, discover the new, navigate the confusing, and even drive some change along the way.

More News

(After you stop hitting snooze)

  • While the Los Angeles City Council voted to providing more funding to help the unhoused at home, mayor Karen Bass was at the White House Thursday to help launch a new initiative to address unsheltered homelessness nationally. Los Angeles was chosen as one of six sites across the country to participate in a new federal effort to reduce homelessness in the U.S. by 25% over the next two years.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health alert that mpox cases may rise during the summer due to more travel and festivals. New cases were reported last month in Chicago. With Pride celebrations coming up in June across Los Angeles, my colleague Jackie Fortiér has got a guide on what folks need to protect themselves. 
  • Under pressure for years to act, the University of California regents said it will support a plan for hiring undocumented students who lack work permits. Next steps is to form a working group to assess the legal issues.
  • A high school senior in L.A. is suing LAUSD and the U.S. Department of Agriculture over a “milk mandate”. This follows pushback the received after serving oatmilk to fellow students on campus as part of a campaign to highlight the benefits of plant-based milk products.
  • It’s Day 18 of the Writers Guild of America strike. Here’s why AI is a chief concern. Plus, now the Screen Actors Guild is asking its members to vote on a strike authorization.
  • For years, California has tried to drive down the cost of insulin, which has increased 600% over the two decades. Here’s why it might finally succeed. 
  • The California Department of Social Services is reporting an alarming amount of lead in the state's preschools. Here’s how to be an advocate for your child.
  • *At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

(more news headlines here)

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Wait! One More Thing...

Compton’s Community Garden Could Continue To Grow

Several garden plots with plants and flowers, with a home and fence in the background.
Garden plots at the Compton Community Garden.
(Courtesy of Dr. Sherridan Ross)

For a rare bit of good news these days, it appears that efforts to save the Compton Community Garden are succeeding.

The land, currently held in private hands, went up for sale last month but members of the community rallied to try and buy it themselves. A GoFundMe page went up and, within 12 days, almost $500,000 dollars were raised.

Sheridan Ross, the garden’s founder, said enough money was raised to make an offer. The property is now in escrow and, though a sale has not been finalized, the real estate team representing the landowner says it is moving forward.

The garden’s organizers said there is a plan to have a local land trust help them manage the acquisition. The garden has fed community members for at least a decade — a valuable thing, organizers say, since fresh produce is hard to come by in the neighborhood.

Read my colleague Leslie Berestein Rojas’ story for more.

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