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LASD - Los Angeles County Sheriffs Dept Information Bureau (SIB)
Friday August 31st, 2018 :: 11:18 a.m. PDT

Community

Sheriff Jim McDonnell Endorses Housing for Homeless and Mentally Ill Military Veterans California Prop 1 and Prop 2

Sheriff Jim McDonnell Endorses Housing for Homeless
and Mentally Ill Military Veterans California Proposition 1 and Proposition 2
 
One in five homeless people in our nation live in the state of California and our state is the epicenter for the nation’s largest number of homeless veterans.

One in four homeless veterans lives in our state. In Los Angeles County, the number of homeless veterans declined 18% this year, but only after a 57% increase in 2017. The fact remains that nearly 4,000 veterans are living on the streets of Los Angeles. We must do more for those who served our country.
 
This is why I am joining Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson in supporting on the November ballot, California’s Proposition 1 and Proposition 2.
 
California Proposition 1 would authorize the sale of $4 billion in bonds to finance existing housing programs, as well as infrastructure work and grants to match a local housing trust fund dollar-to-dollar. One-quarter of this $4 billion would help veterans purchase farms, homes and mobile homes.
 
California Proposition 2 would free up $2 billion in bonds to build housing that would also include mental health services for chronically homeless people.
 
At the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD), we as first responders are on the frontlines of every major social issue of our generation. Every day, we see firsthand, the devastating impact of drug and alcohol addiction, mental illness and violence. More than 2,200 inmates in our jail system, the largest in the nation, self-report as homeless. 
 
The needs of homeless individuals, but perhaps especially our military veterans, hits close to home for our Department, which has a large contingent of military veterans serving as Deputy Sheriffs. The LASD continues to invest in social and organizational reforms that reinforce the fact that homelessness alone is not a crime. Under my administration, we have created policy that prioritizes diversion of qualified individuals, away from our jail system and into supportive housing and services for those suffering from homelessness and mental illness. Our LASD Homeless Outreach Services Team is committed to assisting individuals living in riverbed encampments when they are in danger from a fast moving major storm. We are actively working with the Los Angeles County Office of Diversion and Re-Entry and a network of community- based organizations, including the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) to address Los Angeles’ homeless crisis to continually identify resources outside the criminal justice system to offer a better path for this vulnerable population.
 
Our LASD Homeless Initiative establishes a compassionate response protocol that links law enforcement to community partners who can then provide referrals and support, but with the cost of land and housing continuing to rise, we need to do more to ensure our veterans have a stable place to live and that is what Proposition 1 and Proposition 2 will do to make the point that the Golden State can indeed be a compassionate place of hope and opportunity.
 
 
                                                                       Sheriff Jim McDonnell
 

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