It was just last November when Los Angeles city voters approved a property tax increase to fund new housing construction for the homeless.
Now it is the County of L.A.’s turn to decide if it will follow suit.
Measure H on the March 7th ballot would raise sales taxes, countywide, by a quarter cent to fund services for the homeless.
Both city and county leaders say the combination of housing and services is what will help the region’s roughly 47,000 homeless get off the streets.
“You can’t just say okay, here’s a key, bye bye,” says L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “What we’ve found, in terms of keeping people in their places, is that they need services.”
Those services that Kuehl is talking about include things like doctor’s visits, mental health counselors and job training, among others.
Measure H does not have any formal, written opposition to it on the ballot, but there are critics.
“We are continuing to fund a system that has become a nonprofit industry around homelessness,” says Michael Maier, who is running for Mayor of L.A.
He argues throwing more money at the homeless problem does not address its root causes: education and economic and racial inequality.
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