first_img Still, the report’s findings provide a strong framework for what homeless advocates have been working toward, experts said. Recommendations based on the findings include developing more affordable housing and introducing a voucher program to assist homeless people who receive Social Security, disability or other monthly income. The study also found that, of those who use winter and year-round shelters, 66 percent are males. About 59 percent of men and women who used winter shelters were between the ages of 24 and 44. About 39 percent of winter-shelter clients have no income. About 25 percent of shelter clients receive disability or pension benefits. Each year, winter shelters are filled to capacity as soon as they open for the season, said Mitchell Netburn, executive director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. “They are full and over capacity,” Netburn said of the winter shelters. “I think (the report) shows that the vast majority of the people in the streets would go to a shelter if they needed (to).” Susan Abram, (818) 713-3664 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Within the next few months, the coalition plans to release a 10-year strategic plan to county and city officials. Shelter Partnership’s study comes at a time when both city and county officials are re-examining their policies to tackle homelessness. Last week, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed new members to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, including the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. The ACLU has sued the city numerous times over homelessness issues. On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors, concerned about more families on Skid Row, voted to direct officials to visit each shelter daily to ensure that eligible families receive public benefits. But researchers said there might be more beds for the homeless than estimated by Shelter Partnership and other groups. There are centers dotted throughout Los Angeles that provide beds for the homeless – both long-term and winter-only centers – that do not label themselves as shelters. Others serve people with problems on top of homelessness. Those beds were not accounted for in the study, said Ruth Schwartz, executive director for the Shelter Partnership. Highlighting the need for more emergency shelters, a recent report has found that 61 of the 88 cities in Los Angeles County make no provision for emergency shelters or transitional housing in their zoning ordinances, according to researchers. The study, commissioned by county government and compiled by the Shelter Partnership Inc., found that there are 116 emergency shelters countywide, with about 5,240 beds for the roughly 84,000 people who are homeless each night. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority is expected to use the report’s findings to ask for more funding to allow winter shelters to be open year-round. “It is one more powerful wake-up call that we have an enormous crisis in the county of Los Angeles,” Bob Erlenbusch, executive director of the Los Angeles Coalition to End Hunger and Homelessness, said of the study. “The ratio of homeless people to emergency beds is huge.” last_img

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