Report Calls for New Agency to Tackle LA’s Homeless Crisis

A coalition tasked with examining solutions to Los Angeles’ homelessness crisis has recommended the creation of a new, independent agency. The entity would be run as a non-profit headed by a CEO. It would tackle the issue regionally.

The 53-page report was released Wednesday by the Committee for Greater LA — a coalition of non-profit organizations, policy experts, philanthropists, and elected officials. They include Pat Brown Institute Executive Director Raphe Sonenshein, who authored the latest report.

“Everybody is trying to do it themselves," Sonenshein told ABC 7. "The city, the county, LAHSA [ Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority], the city council, the non-profit organizations, the media - everybody's got an idea but there's no place to bring those ideas so we can create a common plan."

With state and federal funds pumping into localities, now is the time to act, said Committee member Miguel Santana.

“I'm terrified of what it looks like tomorrow and in the future if we don't roll up our sleeves together and get something done," he added.

It’s unclear how the agency would impact the current role of LAHSA or how it might bring about policy changes to affect California’s housing shortage.

The Committee members are planning to meet with Mayor Eric Garcetti and Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda Solis next. City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas has already expressed his support for the recommendations.

“At a time when residents and voters are registering the topic of homelessness as their top-tier concern, unprecedented state and federal dollars are being aimed at the moral crisis on our streets, and a federal judge threatens to upend our response system, a slew of reports on governance are indicative of the general discontent with the status quo,” the councilman said.

"Dr. Sonenshein's report, on behalf of the Committee for Greater L.A., provides a clear-eyed analysis of the factors that complicate our collective response to the most compelling crisis confronting Los Angeles namely, homelessness."