Homelessness in South Los Angeles - Marqueece Harris-Dawson (2)

 Following is a position paper on homelessness in South Los Angeles issued in February 2016 by Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Los Angeles City Council member for District 8 in South Los Angeles. He is co-chair of the City Council's Homelessness and Poverty Committee.  We have retained the source notes at the end but they do not hotlink to the main text. A downloadable PDF of this document is available HERE.

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Homelessness in South Los Angeles


The primary purpose of this paper is to provide a thorough understanding of homelessness in Los Angeles as it pertains to the Eighth City Council District and South Los Angeles more broadly. On January 13, 2016, the City of Los Angeles released a Comprehensive Homeless Strategy detailing over 60 strategies to combat homelessness. The citywide view is sweeping, expansive, and comprehensive, but falls short when detailing the geographic and demographic particularities of South Los Angeles. While I support implementation of all strategies within the Comprehensive Homeless


LA's First Steps on Plans to End Homelessness

City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana released his office's first quarterly report November 7 on Los Angeles' ambitious new agenda to end homelessness. The most optimistic achievement was the passage of Proposition HHH the next day, committing the city to issue $1.2 billion in bonds to qualified developers to construct 10,000 units of permanent supportive housing over ten years.

For the rest, there are many promising accomplishments, but a few serious warning signs of trouble to come. Santana concedes at the outset that until this year, the city's main investment has been in crisis intervention, "largely relying on funding emergency shelter beds, with no clear path to long-term recovery."

In the short-term, this must still be the government's focus until new housing units begin to come online some years from now.  The immediate priorities are to increase storage facilities, and create mobile showers and safe parking locations. It is just here, however, that the first quarter has been least successful.

Trouble Getting Infrastructure Off the Ground

At this time, there is only one location in the city to store homeless people's possessions. It is downtown in Skid Row. Three new ones were under consideration. The one in San Pedro was soon abandoned due to community opposition. One in CD9 on east Washington Blvd. was dropped because rehab costs were too high. And the third, a city-owned, long-vacant senior center in Venice, was approved, but that led to an uproar from the community. The city is considering some kind of mobile storage as an alternative.



St. Joseph Center/First To Serve, Broadway Manchester Access Center, 8525 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90003

The SPA6 Homeless Coalition meets usually on the second Friday of every month. Our regular meetings are held from 10:00 to 12:00 pm.  

Due to the coronavirus we are not holding meetings in person, but are holding them by remote video (Zoom). Our Friday, October 9, 2020, meeting will be held by Zoom from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. Details below: