Mayor Eric Garcetti has named longtime homelessness services advocate and provider Jose “Che” Ramirez as the new deputy mayor for city homelessness initiatives, a position he will fill starting Wednesday.

Ramirez, who has more than a decade of experience in the field of homelessness in Los Angeles and San Francisco, was named to the position late Tuesday, and will oversee the mayor’s agenda to construct temporary shelters, build supportive and affordable housing, deliver vital services and bring homeless Angelenos indoors, the mayor’s office stated.

“When COVID-19 reached our city, we doubled down on our work to deliver housing, healing and hope to Angelenos experiencing homelessness and we remain laser-focused on putting a roof over the heads of our most vulnerable neighbors,” Garcetti said. “Homelessness has long been the most urgent moral and humanitarian crisis of our time, and Che’s life experience and professional expertise make him the perfect person to lead our efforts to confront it.”

Before joining the city, Ramirez was the executive director of the St. Anthony Foundation in San Francisco, where he led the institution’s work to assist and house homeless residents.

“I’m excited to come back and work in Los Angeles with an amazing team and mayor who are dedicated to serving our homeless community,” Ramirez said. “I look forward to leading a movement of compassion in Los Angeles to house and heal our homeless guests in these challenging times.

“We all have a role to play in solving homelessness, and it’s in these unprecedented moments that we truly learn what it means to be a community.”

Previously, Ramirez served as executive director and chief operating officer at St. Francis Center in downtown Los Angeles.

Before that, he was the job development director for the Boys & Girls Club in Oxnard, where he supported at-risk youth and helped direct the organization’s Youth Empowerment Program.

He also worked as a recovery counselor at Telecare Corporation in Camarillo, a transitional housing facility for individuals struggling with mental health and substance abuse, according to the mayor’s office.

Ramirez will continue to work with programs such as A Bridge Home shelters, implementing voter-approved Proposition HHH and Measure H, dedicating new resources to Skid Row, securing state investments in local homelessness solutions and instituting rapid COVID-19 response initiatives.

Ramirez replaces Deputy Mayor Christina Miller, who was the first person to hold the post. She will take on a leadership role with The National Alliance to End Homelessness, Garcetti said.

“Christina brought her determination, resolve, creativity and dedication to the monumental task of housing and helping our city’s homeless population, and she’s laid an incredible foundation for progress in the months and years ahead,” Garcetti said.

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