Both the city and county of Los Angeles leads nation in chronic homelessness with 12,536 and is up 55% from just two years ago according to new numbers out from the Housing and Urban Development Department.

Chronically homeless people are defined by the government as those who are disabled and without housing for a year, or those who have lived on the street “several times” over a three-year period.

With the up coming winter season and El Niño the homeless are particularly vulnerable throughout Southern California.

Los Angeles leads nation in chronic homelessness

Los Angeles leads nation in chronic homelessness

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas provided the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS) with $500,000 to get as many as 200 homeless persons off Skid Row and into housing this winter

The funds will support a County/City/Community project called C3, which is a public and private initiative that deploys four mental and physical health clinical teams to Skid Row. They conduct outreach and connect the homeless to interim residential options and permanent housing with services.

The funds will be used to pay for interim housing slots that are critical to making sure homeless individuals have safe temporary housing while permanent supportive housing options are being identified.

DHS anticipates the $500,000 will help get about 200 people off the streets. It will tap its Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool, which receives $4 million in funding from the County each year, to help pay for their permanent supportive housing.

Another source of money for permanent supportive housing is a $10-million rapid rehousing program that the County is launching in response to the coming El Nino, pursuant to a Board motion authored by Supervisor Ridley-Thomas.

DHS will also utilize permanent housing available through the County’s Coordinated Entry System, which matches homeless individuals to appropriate services and housing.