LA Mayor Karen Bass is preparing to launch the Inside Safe program, which will move homeless people from camps to hotels and motels

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Mayor Karen Bass is preparing to launch a new Los Angeles homelessness program that will see teams moving homeless people from tent camps to hotels and motels.

Bass is expected to sign an operational directive for the new program called Inside Safe at 10:00 am

The plan, which Bass says will cost less than $100 million, will involve using motels to house homeless people. She said her office has been in touch with motel owners near camps.

“If you build affordable housing under my executive directive, the city will complete the permitting process within 60 days. Then, when construction begins, the permitting and occupancy certification process will be completed in just five days,” Bass said. “That’s five days for 100% affordable housing projects and in no more than two days for temporary housing. That’s the urgency we need at City Hall and that’s what we deliver.”

On her first day as mayor of LA, Bass declared a homelessness emergency. She pledged to house people and build more homes so residents can see a real difference that hasn’t been visible despite spending billions on programs to curb homelessness, including $1.2 billion in the current city budget.

On Tuesday, the LA County Board of Supervisors approved the state of emergency, and county officials will now be part of the city’s response, including county public health and mental health departments.

Bass has said she aims to place over 17,000 homeless people into shelters through a mix of temporary and permanent facilities in her first year. An estimated 40,000 people are homeless in LA, a city of nearly 4 million people.

According to Bass, the outreach staff will try to lure people into the house. People are homeless for a variety of reasons, including mental illness, addiction, and job loss.

Gov. Gavin Newsom first floated the idea of ​​housing the homeless in motel and hotel rooms at the start of the pandemic in 2020. He has since encouraged cities and counties to convert motels and other buildings into shelters for the homeless.

Advocates for the homeless have welcomed the use of motel rooms, where people can have their own bathroom away from the clutter of collective housing. But they have criticized what they call “camp purges,” which force people to relocate and part with their belongings in the absence of a firm offer of motel rooms.

Meanwhile, Long Beach’s new mayor also promises to work on the area’s homelessness crisis. In his first act as mayor, Rex Richardson is expected to institute a state of emergency for the city.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved. LA Mayor Karen Bass is preparing to launch the Inside Safe program, which will move homeless people from camps to hotels and motels

Laura Coffey

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