Sen. Holly Mitchell unveils initiative for housing the homeless

January 06, 2016

Sen. Holly Mitchell unveils initiative for housing the homeless

Joins state and local officials in calling for an end to homelessness in California

LOS ANGELES, CA —At a press conference held in downtown’s skid row, Senator Holly J. Mitchell (D-South Los Angeles) announced a new initiative to combat the state’s growing homelessness crisis. Her plan calls for California’s implementation of the Housing First model, the strategy embraced by Utah which gave itself a 10 year deadline to eradicate homelessness by moving poor families into stable housing and helping them stay there.

“Ending homelessness in California is a huge challenge” said Mitchell, Chair of the Senate’s Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. “But it is the right objective. Utah’s Housing First formula offers an example of success in housing the homelessness from which we can learn.”

Senator Mitchell stood beside state Senate President pro tempore Kevin DeLeon, Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, and a bipartisan group of state legislators to call for new measures and expenditures to bring down the numbers of homeless persons on the streets as the rain storms of El Niño approach. African Americans makes up 47 percent of the homeless in the city of Los Angeles, 20 to 40 percent are in female-headed families, and although 41 percent have held employment within the last year and as many as 20 percent are veterans, one in four has been the victim of child abuse or neglect, has mental or physical disabilities or has a substance abuse problem.

“Homelessness is one of the most devastating forms that poverty takes,” added Senator Mitchell, whose district includes skid row. “We can’t continue to stand by and watch while Black and Brown women raise children in poverty. Getting families into stable housing is only one piece of a complicated puzzle – bringing resources and services to where the need is has to happen – but eliminating homelessness, rather than trying to make it tolerable, is what decency demands of us.”