L.A. City Council urges Gov. Brown to declare homelessness a statewide emergency

The Los Angeles City Council joined state lawmakers today in urging Gov. Jerry Brown to declare homelessness a statewide emergency, an action that would fast-track assistance and housing for indigent residents.

The council approved a resolution supporting HR 56 and SR 84, two bills in the state legislature that urges Brown to apply this tool to homelessness.

City officials say there are more than 115,000 homeless people in California, 28,000 of whom are in Los Angeles, and that homelessness is straining local government agencies' ability to offer public safety and social

The city plans to spend $138 million on homelessness services and housing programs, and put a $1.2 billion bond measure on the November ballot to generate ongoing funding to fight homelessness, city officials said.

"We need real solutions to one of the biggest problems facing the residents of Los Angeles," said Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who chairs the council's Homelessness and Poverty Committee. "Our leaders in Sacramento have taken the huge step of authoring HR 56 and SR 84, and now we need to follow through and declare a state of emergency."

"Homelessness is an all hands on deck problem that requires solutions at every level of government," he said.