City of LA and LA County Reach Deal to Shelter Almost 7,000 Homeless People Living Outside

Ameera Butt
June 18, 2020 - 1:54 pm

    In a joint legal agreement between the city of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County, nearly 7,000 homeless people living in encampments near freeways, as well as homeless seniors and those vulnerable to COVID-19, will be brought inside over 18 months, both LA and LA County announced today.

    The agreement was approved by Judge David O. Carter, according to a press release from LA County on Thursday.

    Under the agreement, the city will provide 6,000 new beds within 10 months, and an additional 700 beds over 18 months.

    The County will invest $300 million over five years to fund essential services for the people occupying those beds.

    Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Council President Nury Martinez were tapped by Carter to help negotiate the joint agreement between the LA and LA County.

    “With the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbating Los Angeles’ homeless crisis, it is imperative that we marshal our County and City resources to bring our most vulnerable neighbors indoors as expeditiously as possible,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said in a press release. “This is a new milestone in our partnership to ensure that everyone in Los Angeles has a life of dignity and worth."

    "This agreement will lead to major action, not rhetoric,” said City Council President Martinez. "The Court has challenged us to do better, to do more and to do it quickly, and we need to meet that challenge. We are now positioned to dive into difficult but honest conversations with our County partners about future financial resources and obligations. The Los Angeles City Council, and its leadership, will continue to do its duty to lead, collaborate and negotiate on behalf of the City with our County partners toward our common goal to house more homeless Angelenos faster." 

    On May 15, Carter ordered both the County and City to "humanely" relocate anyone camped within 500 feet of an overpass, underpass, or ramp and into a shelter or "an alternative housing option."

    The agreement also includes the most vulnerable segment of the homeless population – those who are 65 years or older, or who have chronic underlying health conditions that put them at high risk of being hospitalized or dying if they contract COVID-19.

    In approving the agreement between the County and the City, Judge Carter dropped his injunction.