LA County homeless service providers decry failed, bureaucratic payment system

LA County homeless service providers decry failed, bureaucratic payment system

Relevant News
5/21/2024

By STEVE SCAUZILLO | sscauzillo@scng.com | Daily News

PUBLISHED: May 21, 2024

Five of the largest nonprofit homeless service providers in Los Angeles County told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, May 21, they are fighting a bureaucracy that has forced them to cut services, mostly due to inadequate reimbursements that don’t cover their costs and often arrive up to four months late.

The managers of HOPICS (Homeless Outreach Program Integrated Care System), which serves South L.A.; LA Family Housing, The People Concern, People Assisting the Homeless, and Special Service for Groups, all testified they have had to take out lines of credit at high interest rates — or even use their own credit cards — just to stay afloat and maintain services.

A broken payment system partially funded by $355 million annually from the homeless tax, Measure H, which passed countywide in 2017, has been unable to timely pay the service providers who do street outreach, put people in interim and permanent housing, and pay rents that prevent thousands from landing back on the streets.

“The service providers are struggling to pay expenses, while the money is just sitting there,” said Veronica Lewis, director of HOPICS.

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