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LA spends $100 million a year on homelessness, study finds

A group of homeless travelers eat food that they purchased with McDonald's gift cards that they received after completing the Homeless Count survey in this February 2013 file photo. A report released Thursday, April 16, 2015, concludes that city departments have no coordinated approach for dealing with homelessness and its problems. Instead, many rely on ad hoc responses.
A group of homeless travelers eat food that they purchased with McDonald's gift cards that they received after completing the Homeless Count survey in this February 2013 file photo. A report released Thursday, April 16, 2015, concludes that city departments have no coordinated approach for dealing with homelessness and its problems. Instead, many rely on ad hoc responses.
Mae Ryan/KPCC

A new report says Los Angeles spends $100 million a year to deal with homelessness — much of it on arrests and other police services.

The report released Thursday concludes that city departments have no coordinated approach for dealing with homelessness and its problems. Instead, many rely on ad hoc responses.

The study by City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana estimated the costs of dealing with the homeless, including sanitation and police, medical and mental health services.

Santana says there's a joint city and county authority that fields emergency response teams to deal with problems involving the homeless but it has only 19 people to cover the entire county.

He recommends the city create a policy for ending homelessness and an office or department to track efforts.