The city of Los Angeles will review how effectively healthcare services are delivered to unhoused people under the city’s contract with Los Angeles County, as called for in a motion passed Friday by the Los Angeles City Council.
The motion was introduced by Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who said that when he was chair of the Homelessness and Poverty Committee he saw “firsthand, how our contractual relationship with the county for public health and mental health service delivery is outdated and drastically in need of an update.”
“When I say outdated, I meant it. The contract is literally from 1964. It’s one-sided and profoundly out of step with our city’s needs,” O’Farrell added.
The motion instructs the city administrative officer and chief legislative analyst to report back on the city’s contractual relationship with Los Angeles County, the delivery of health services in its existing contract and specific recommendations on how to improve the current system.
The motion seeks specific recommendations on renegotiating the contract to better serve the city’s residents, with a focus on its unhoused population. The CAO and CLA will also develop recommendations for a city position or office responsible for monitoring and evaluating the county’s health programs.
O’Farrell said the motion will result in better oversight of Los Angeles County’s programs for the city. He said the current contract does not include any benchmarks, metrics or requirements of reports specific to the city of Los Angeles.
Councilman Kevin de León, who chairs the Homelessness and Poverty Committee and seconded the motion, said in a statement when it was introduced last year:
“What we have learned from the tragic humanitarian crisis of homelessness and the inadequate response to the pandemic is that our public health system is broken, especially for the most vulnerable Angelenos. Despite not having a public health department, our city has a responsibility to ensure Angelenos have public health services that meet the growing and unfilled needs now facing us. This is a step in that direction.”