LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative today announced a call for proposals for its Housing Innovation Challenge that will award $4.5 million for ``creative and scalable'' permanent housing solutions for homeless people.
The Watt Family Foundation and United Way of Greater Los Angeles also announced the L.A. Homelessness Challenge, which will award $400,000 for proposals to offer innovative service models for homeless people.
``We're lucky to have a strong set of existing plans and solutions, and we're thrilled to welcome the brightest thinkers and practitioners to push us even further," said Chris Ko, director of homeless initiatives, United Way of Greater Los Angeles.
``Innovation comes in many forms, and just as much as new ideas, this is a call for models and approaches to deliver what's working more efficiently and effectively."
After a big spike last year, the city and county of Los Angeles have seen modest decreases in the number of homeless people in 2018, according to the results of the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count. The number of homeless in the county fell by 3 percent to 53,195, and by 5 percent in the city of Los Angeles to 31,516.
County voters last year approved Measure H, a sales tax increase expected to raise $355 million annually for 10 years for homeless programs. Funding for the Housing Innovation Challenge will come from the Measure H Housing Innovation Fund.
``These challenges come at a critical juncture in the countywide movement to combat and prevent homelessness,'' said Phil Ansell, director of the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative. `
`While the first decrease in the homeless count numbers in four years is encouraging, there is a great deal of work ahead. The Housing Innovation Challenge is a unique opportunity to solicit new approaches and continue to advance our efforts to help people move from homelessness to housing.''
The Housing Innovation Challenge will make multiple $500,000 or $1 million awards to organizations with ideas on how to produce permanent supportive housing for homeless people.
The L.A. Homelessness Challenge will offer two awards of $200,000.