Audit Finds That Los Angeles’s Top Homeless Outreach Agency Has Deep Operational Failures
According to an audit released in August, the homeless outreach agency tasked with moving people from the streets into housing, shelters or treatment for mental illness and substance abuse has severely failed to meet the goals of its contract with the city of Los Angeles. The audit states that the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) missed seven of nine goals during the 2017-18 fiscal year and five of eight last fiscal year. LAHSA had doubled its staff of outreach workers in the last two years, yet still failed to meet the goals it was tasked to complete. Controller Ron Galperin told the Los Angeles Times the following,
The goals that were set by the city are not unreasonable. Quite frankly, they are [setting a] pretty low bar to begin with. If you can’t meet the low bar, that’s a problem.
According to the audit, the city contributed $3.5 million from its general fund in the 2017-18 fiscal year to LAHSA and $6.8 million last year. Los Angeles County also increased its contributions from $13 million to $31 million towards the cause. The city-county outreach system has increased from less than 300 workers to nearly 800 thanks to sales tax dollars from Measure H. One of the audit’s recommendations is that both the city and county do more to provide short-term resources, such as restrooms, showers, and storage facilities to improve living conditions on the street. Hopefully the LAHSA is able to work out its issues and meet more of goals.