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Mayor Garcetti, Superintendent Beutner Announce Expansion of Program to Assist Families Coping with Homelessness, Housing Insecurity (12-4-19)

News conference  



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Shannon Haber, 213-241-6766                                         December 4, 2019


LOS ANGELES – Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced that 500 homeless families with students in the Los Angeles Unified School District system will receive Section 8 vouchers – an invaluable resource in the fight to get Angelenos off the streets and into housing.

“Angelenos are coming together to confront the homelessness and housing crisis, from opening A Bridge Home Shelters across the city to cutting red tape getting in the way of urgently needed affordable housing,” Mayor Garcetti said. “For decades, our schools have been overlooked in this fight — and today is an important first step as we work to ensure students and their families are met with opportunities and not obstacles.”

The Mayor made the announcement alongside Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner, as well as leadership from the other partners in the program: Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA), L.A. Family Housing (LAFH), and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). HACLA has committed to provide 500 vouchers to Los Angeles Unified families in need throughout the City of Los Angeles over the next two years.

“The issue of homelessness in our community is one of the great challenges we face in Los Angeles,” Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner said. “We can and need to do more.”

Following reports that found nearly 25% of the student population at Telfair Elementary was homeless or suffering from housing insecurity, HACLA’s Section 8 Homeless Initiative launched a pilot program which provided vouchers to 50 families in the Northeast San Fernando Valley for rental subsidies. To date, all 50 families have been matched to housing vouchers.

“This program is very important to the Housing Authority,” HACLA President and CEO Doug Guthrie said. “The fight against homelessness in Los Angeles is a joint effort — and today is proof of the power of partnership.” 

Additionally, the program is providing wraparound services to Los Angeles Unified families through L.A. Family Housing — including delivery of basic needs such as food and clothing.

“What is most exciting about this program is that we are bringing together multiple systems of care to address the generational needs of the whole family,” Stephanie Klasky-Gamer, President and CEO of L.A. Family Housing, said. “By targeting housing and education barriers and implementing intensive case management, we hope to increase the likelihood that these families will avoid the cycle of homelessness in the future.”