Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis agrees with critics of the Los Angeles County Homeless Services Authority, which is in charge of coordinating the efforts of Los Angeles, other cities, the county and the many non-profit agencies involved in helping the homeless.
Solis spoke Friday at the Los Angeles Current Affairs Forum luncheon at the Palm downtown. The banquet room was filled with representatives of the airport, the harbor, Metro and law and engineering companies, all wanting to be seen by Solis. As one of five supervisors, she has a say in a variety of programs the audience members are touting.
Solis was asked about a state auditor's report that the homeless authority is too slow and cumbersome in dispersing funds for homeless aid. The criticism is particularly relevant now that Los Angeles city and county voters have approved billions for the homeless.
Do you think things are in order or are "tweaks" are needed? she was asked.
"Many tweaks," she replied, with a tinge of sarcasm in her voice.
Other critics have portrayed the authority as a bureaucracy that has trouble getting things done. Solis said she has taken matters into her hands and found money for instruction for officials of the many small county cities in her First District to teach them how to navigate the bureaucracy as they seek funds for their own homeless programs.
Her district has many homeless. It extends from downtown Los Angeles through the Southeast cities of Huntington Park and South Gate and into the San Gabriel Valley, where she said there are 150 homeless encampments on the riverbed. There are 24 cities in her district, ranging from Los Angeles to suburban Claremont, each with their own take on homelessness.