"If you walk five blocks south and one block over, you'll enter the largest concentration of homeless in the country — about 4,000 homeless living in Skid Row," said Councilman Jose Huizar, who co-chairs the City Council's homelessness & poverty committee.
The emergency declaration and the funding will require action by the full City Council. Officials didn't say exactly where the money will come from, but Council President Herb Wesson promised it would be found "somehow, some way."
The first rollout of funds — projected for Jan. 1, 2016 — would go toward permanent housing and shelter, according to Wesson's office.
Garcetti had already announced plans Monday to release nearly $13 million in such newly anticipated excess tax revenue for short-term housing initiatives. The bulk of that money would be dedicated to housing homeless veterans.
Alice Callaghan, a longtime advocate for the homeless on Skid Row, said the proposed funding would not be nearly enough to stop the loss of affordable housing, especially in rapidly gentrifying areas of downtown and on the city's west side.