Funds generated from sponsorships and individual donations will benefit the City, County, Community (C3) intensive homeless outreach program.
L.A. City Councilmember José Huizar and partners gathered at Grand Park Thursday to unveil one of six homeless donation meters being installed in Downtown Los Angeles as part of an effort to raise awareness and allow locals and visitors to donate money and know that it will assist those experiencing homelessness in Skid Row.
Councilmember Huizar asked the City to create a Los Angeles Homeless Donation Meter program via a motion in 2013. Huizar is sponsoring one of two meters at Grand Park, and LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis is sponsoring the other and attended Thursday’s event. Also expected to be in attendance were Jaylene Mosely, Executive Director with The Flintridge Center (Real Change Movement); John Maceri, Executive Director of The People Concern; and Rachel Moore, President and CEO of The Music Center, which oversees Grand Park.
The City’s program was designed by Huizar’s office along with the Flintridge Center, originators of the Real Change Movement, where they have led successful programs in Pasadena and West Palm Beach, Florida. Funds from the donation meter program will be collected by the Flintridge Center and administered to the People Concern, a non-profit that works with the City County Community (C3) program. The IPS Group donated the meters and will be the contractors on the project the City’s Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) will work with. Beyond these first six pilot meters, Councilmember Huizar wants to expand the program.
“These donation meters are a small, but meaningful gesture in our effort to raise awareness and address homelessness throughout the City and County,” said Councilmember Huizar. “Every donation supports the C3 program that my office worked with our County partners on creating, which is having a positive impact on those experiencing homelessness in Skid Row.
“Whether you’re a resident, worker or visitor, these meters give us all the opportunity to make a positive difference for those living on the streets through a simple donation with the change in our pockets.”
As the program expands to other parts of the City and/or County, funds can be earmarked to provide service in those areas.
The other Downtown locations for the meters are located at El Pueblo Historical Monument, sponsored by the El Pueblo Historical Monument Department, as well as onsite meters sponsored by the St. Vincent Jewelry Center, the Alexandria Hotel, and the Hayward Manor Apartments.
“Combating the homelessness crisis and ensuring every woman, man, and child has a safe roof over their heads is a top priority, but Homeless Donation Meters are only one tool in our arsenal to help address the homelessness crisis,” said Supervisor Solis. “Ending homelessness requires a collaborative, multi-pronged effort, and that is why I have been working hard at the County to bring mobile bathrooms and showers to homeless encampments, examining best practices to preserve housing affordability and improve upon tenant protections, and engaging developers, landlords, and property owners to create more affordable housing and creative housing options. Today's unveiling is just one example of identifying unique and collaborative solutions to ensure that everyone can effectively navigate and leverage the resources the County has to offer to help end homelessness.”
Funds generated by the $3,500 annual sponsorship per meters, as well as individual donations at the meters, will be given to the Skid Row-based C3 program.
“The People Concern is proud to partner on this innovative project,” said John Maceri, Executive Director of The People Concern. “Contributions through the Real Change Movement meters will be put toward our efforts in the C3 program, outreaching and engaging with those in the Skid Row community. We’re pleased to be a part of creating more accessible avenues for the community to support their neighbors in need.”
C3 is an intensive homeless outreach program that brings County mental health, medical, rehabilitative, housing and peer outreach teams directly into the streets to assist those experiencing homelessness. It was first developed by Councilmember Huizar, with the assistance of LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. It is now a five-day-a-week outreach model supported by Councilmember Huizar, Supervisors Ridley-Thomas and Solis and is now the model used throughout the entire Los Angeles County, including Los Angeles and 87 other cities.
Huizar first got the idea to initiate a homeless donation meter program after seeing an online post by Brigham Yen, of the DTLA Rising website. Yen shared a post about similar meters he saw while visiting Bethesda, Maryland in late 2012 and wondered why the meters couldn’t be implemented in Downtown, Los Angeles.
Councilmember José Huizar is one of the City of Los Angeles’ most proactive elected officials in pursuing creative solutions to address homelessness. Besides creating the C3 program, Huizar also teamed with Council President Herb Wesson to create the nation’s first permanent large-city committee to address homelessness; oversaw as Chair of that committee the creation of the City’s Homelessness Strategic Plan; and he co-authored Proposition HHH, the $1.2 billion homeless housing bond, which received more than 76% voter approval, the largest City bond in history.
Councilmember Huizar also led the effort on the Los Angeles City Council, with the support of Mayor Garcetti, to create a Linkage Fee program, which will generate hundreds of millions of dollars to provide for new affordable housing and protect existing affordable housing throughout the City in order to keep Angelenos from falling into homelessness – which the City’s Homelessness Strategic Plan called for.