You study LA, SF, or Seattle’s homeless problem not to see what to do but what NOT to do and learn from their mistakes.
LA. Homelessness has risen 12.7% from last year despite over $400M spent yearly by the City.
Prop HHH promised over a BILLION dollars for homeless housing. “Nearly four years after voters approved Proposition HHH, only three projects have opened, construction has not started on three-quarters of the planned units, and many projects may “never come to fruition,” said Galperin, adding that the delays began before the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Unit costs for housing the homeless exceed half a million a piece now.
LA Times Article
When you actually dig into the article you discover a few things. Not every project will cost over $700k like a couple that are referenced however overall it’s STILL ungodly expensive for supposedly bare bones homeless housing.
Also regarding those motel conversions-“Ann Sewill, general manager of the city’s Housing and Community Development Department, said savings from motel conversions, while appealing, are unproved. “Everyone thinks motels are lower-cost, but there haven’t been that many models going through,” Sewill said.”
What about some other options like tiny huts? “Critics say other housing options for the homeless are also turning out to be more costly than predicted. In a new court filing, a group suing L.A. city and county over its handling of homelessness praised plans for small houses called “Pallet shelters” but described the operational cost — which they put at $42,000 a bed — as “nothing short of outrageous.”
Take a gander at what Los Guilicos costs per month to operate.
The Mayor meanwhile sticks dogmatically to housing first, “Mayor Eric Garcetti will continue to work with Galperin on keeping homeless housing costs down, according to spokesman Alex Comisar. But he added that the mayor’s focus remains on permanent housing.”
1. Look at what is being done outside the housing first gravy train for far less money. Examples-sprung structures, modular housing, public/private partnerships, outright philanthropy, faith-based. A lot of these folks can do things with a fraction of the money.
2. All the money saved on expensive and untenable housing first projects can be funneled into mental health and drug abuse treatment options and you can provide actual comprehensive wrap around services.
3. Safe parking, tiny hut villages, and the like CAN work but here’s the catch. You actually have to have the police, city management, the public, and the providers all on the same page and working together. It can be done, it IS being done elsewhere. The reason it doesn’t work here is because of the lack of transparency and distrust. Nobody wins here and everybody loses.