Measure H would provide $373 million a year to provide social services to address homelessness. (Photo/Michael Coghlan)


County voters consider homelessness measure March 7

USC experts weigh in on the proposal, which would provide $373 million a year for social services

March 03, 2017 Ron Mackovich-Rodriguez

Measure H, a quarter-cent sales tax to fund homeless services throughout Los Angeles County, will be on the ballot March 7. The measure would generate $373 million a year to fund support social services for the homeless in the county, estimated at more than 47,000 in 2016. USC experts weigh in.

Raphael Bostic
Raphael Bostic (Photo/Courtesy of Raphael Bostic)

Support for families, substance abuse treatment

“Measure H represents a landmark for the region in trying to help reduce homelessness in a meaningful way. The resources will provide needed housing and shelter for the homeless, but the measure will also allow for the expansion of services such as job counseling, substance abuse treatment and support for families.”

Director of the Bedrosian Center on Governance at the USC Price School of Public Policy

The Rev. Jim Burklo
The Rev. Jim Burklo (Photo/Courtesy of The Rev. Jim Burklo)

Finding housing

“We can work with religious communities and churches around the city to identify underutilized properties. There are hundreds if not thousands of these properties around the city that could be converted or developed for housing.”

USC associate dean of religious life

Carl Castro
Carl Castro (Photo/Courtesy of Carl Castro)

A complex issue for veterans

“The Veterans Administration spends $137,000 per year on each homeless veteran. But homelessness is rarely the only problem. There are mental and physical health issues, legal troubles and substance use.

“We can’t adopt European models here because of major cultural differences, but we shouldn’t act like no one can solve this problem.”

Assistant professor at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

Michael Cousineau
Michael Cousineau (Photo/Courtesy of Michael Cousineau)

An evidence-based approach

“At USC, we have a range of expertise at the university both on methodology and on substance that will help us refine the research and to capture more people in the count. We take an interdisciplinary approach to this very diverse, complicated problem that has so many aspects to it — housing, jobs, social structure and race.”

Professor of clinical preventative medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC

Nicole Esparza
Nicole Esparza (Photo/Courtesy of Nicole Esparza)

More homeless women in Los Angeles County

“We see so many more women now who are chronically homeless. They need different services.”

Associate professor at the USC Price School

Eric Rice
Eric Rice (Photo/Courtesy of Eric Rice)

Counting homeless youth

“Homeless youth are easily victimized, so they try to hide in plain sight. They don’t tend to sleep in camps near busy streets.”

Associate professor at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work