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Where could LA's $100M to combat homelessness come from, and how could it be spent?




Volunteers count homeless people on a dark street on Skid Row during the 2015 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count conducted by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) on January 29, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
Volunteers count homeless people on a dark street on Skid Row during the 2015 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count conducted by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) on January 29, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
David McNew/Getty Images

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Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin and others joined together on Tuesday to announce a $100 million proposal to combat homelessness.

"We have really become, to our great shame, a city of tents and shanties," he said. "On any given night, 19,000 people are sleeping on the streets."

The details of how the money would be spent are few at the moment. Bonin says details will be worked out in the committee by the end of the year, but they could include a number of ideas: more emergency shelters, more safe parking places for people sleeping in vehicles, more legal bathrooms and less policing efforts on the homeless population.

Bonin says the source of the $100 million also has to be determined.

The city has a reserve fund that's set aside for emergency needs like services in a natural disaster. He says that could be tapped.

Bonin also tells KPCC that this call for $100 million might not be a one-time measure in this upcoming budget: It could be a recurring item that the city funds every year.

The reaction by services who work with homeless people has been measured.

Pete White, co-executive director of the L.A. Community Action Network, says he wants money to be spent building up the infrastructure to improve public health.

White also says he wants to the city to cut back its policing of homeless people and use the money on those efforts to rehouse people.

"If we are going to walk away from the enforcement against homeless people, that's $87 million right there that could be placed in the affordable housing trust fund," says White.