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Here's How Measure H Funds Will Be Used To Tackle Homelessness in L.A. County

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Homeless encampments and people living in cars are up 20% from last year. (Photo by cyna79 via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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L.A.'s homelessness crisis has shown no signs of abating, with a recent count estimating that the county's homeless population had risen by 23% over the past year. In March, L.A. voters approved Measure H, a quarter-cent sales tax to fund homeless services, and on Tuesday, the County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a spending package that outlines how exactly that billion dollars in funding will be spent over the next three years.

The funding plan approved by the Board was based on a series of recommendations developed with input from a group of 50 public and private stakeholders, including the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, the United Way of Greater Los Angeles and the Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing. The Board accepted the vast majority of the stakeholders' recommendations, the LA Times reports.

The Board-approved plan is an ambitious one, aiming to help find shelter for 45,000 of the roughly 57,794 individuals and families currently experiencing homelessness in L.A. County—and enable 30,000 others to stay housed through homelessness prevention initiatives. The plan dedicates nearly $259 million to combat homelessness over the next fiscal year beginning July 1, and earmarks more than $1 billion over the next three fiscal years, according to a statement from the County.

Specific initiatives detailed in the funding plan include childcare for homeless families, assistance for homeless college students, the creation of a women's crisis housing program and rental subsidies for newly-housed tenants, as well as increased funding for case management and mental health care. Additionally, the Board approved Supervisor Hilda Solis's motion to use data from LAHSA's 2017 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count to distribute the funding, in order to better assess just how many people are actually experiencing homelessness—sheltered and unsheltered— in L.A. County. "Many people suffering from homelessness are men, women, and children of color, especially Latinos, who are not being counted and therefore the County is failing to provide them the resources they need to get back on their feet," Solis said in a statement on Tuesday, adding, "There is an entire segment of the homeless population who aren’t sleeping in encampments on the street, but are sleeping on a family member’s couch now and then, or in a car, or move from motel to motel - they go uncounted, but they also need these funds.”