LA Country Budget: Focus on Reducing Homelessness Emphasized


Los Angeles is on its way to becoming one of the counties in the state of California where homelessness would be a thing of the past. With the just-released budget proposal, an emphasis has been made towards enhancing the provision of basic income to all families in the county, therefore promoting self-sufficiency. The $30.8 billion budget would achieve two significant goals including opening up of opportunities to the unemployed individuals who have otherwise been the leading cause of the high rates of homelessness in the region. It would also target providing basic and affordable housing to the homeless individuals in LA.
The LA County chief, Mr. Hamai explained that majority of the social and economic challenges that California and LA in particular face are all interrelated and allied to the issue of homelessness. By targeting the homeless individuals in the city and its neighborhood, LA intends to achieve significant progress when it comes to bringing to control some social vices such as crime.
According to Hamai, the city has made some minor progress on the issue but is yet to realize significant fruits thereof. For example, towards the end of last year, although under stiff financial constraints, the city provided temporary housing to over 7,000 and over 3,000 others receiving support for permanent housing.
The county would also focus on the provision of amenities such as healthcare services for individuals who are less privileged economically. Emphasis to this effect has been laid on ensuring that mentally ill patients receive substantial support as they form a wide majority of those affected by homelessness. Also, the city's financial plan has also set aside additional funds to the tune of $100 million to help handle the issue of drug and substance abuse through the provision of rehabilitative support services.
In the new plan unveiled on Monday 9th April, the city targets constructing dedicated mental health facilities across South Bay as well as San Fernando while the medical health facilities would be built in Lincoln Heights and Canoga Park. The plan has also set aside some funds for rehabilitation of the existing infrastructural frameworks within the county, a move that would be projected to create additional jobs.
A subtle observation made in this year's budget proposal is the substantial reduction from last year's, something that Hamai attributed to last year's one-time costs that were non-recurred into this year's budget. The budget would be expected to be tabled before the county's Board of Supervisors today for inspection and subsequent public hearings in May in readiness for the June deadline.



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