Salinas Housing/Homelessness Q1
Housing affordability, or lack thereof, is a major factor in the rise of homelessness throughout our region and California as a whole. The 2019 Homelessness Count showed a 12 percent increase in Los Angeles County and a 16 percent increase in the City of Los Angeles. Despite all the work our political leadership, non-profit organizations and voters have done with the passage of Measure H and Proposition HHH, which have allowed more than 20,000 to be housed, we are still unable to keep pace with the number of individuals falling into homelessness. In L.A. County, there are nearly 600,000 people spending more than 90 percent of their income on rent. These people are all one paycheck or health emergency away from losing the roof over their heads.
However, we cannot pin our entire homelessness crisis on housing. Mental health, trauma and substance addiction are also significant factors and require a different set of solutions than simply increasing affordable housing options. These individuals will require treatment and counseling in supportive housing-type facilities.