Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

The city of Los Angeles spends more than $100 million a year to address homelessness, but has not been using the money in a planned and coordinated way, according to a city report out Thursday.

Some of the spending on homelessness is on “ad hoc responses” by city departments, many of which “incur costs that have not been reflected” in existing plans for dealing with homelessness,” city Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said today.

Santana said their study was conducted after Mayor Eric Garcetti and other city leaders pushed for changes in how the city addresses homelessness.

Garcetti has set a goal to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015 and chronic homelessness by December 2016.

Santana said their study found that many departments that do not offer services to the homeless have had to respond on the fly to the issue.

There is “no consistent process across departments in interactions with homeless individuals, homeless encampments, or other issues related to homelessness” and there are “no systematic efforts” to refer the homeless to services and case management, Santana said.

There is also “limited tracking” of the interactions with the homeless, “resulting in an inability within the city to measure impacts or progress,” he said.

Relying on outside agencies for help has also proven insufficient, according to the report. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s emergency response team does not have enough funding to respond to all of the city’s calls regarding homelessness, Santana said.

Santana recommended that the city create a policy for not only managing, but ending homelessness, and said city leaders should appoint an office or department to track the city’s progress, work with outside agencies, suggest funding allocations for the city’s budget and report to the mayor and City Council twice a year.

City News Service

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