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Home / homeless outreach

LA’s unarmed response program gets $1.5M from federal government

The federal government’s fiscal year 2022 funding bill includes $1.5 million for Los Angeles’ pilot program to have unarmed outreach teams respond to nonviolent 911 calls involving people experiencing homelessness, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Los Angeles, announced Tuesday.

The Crisis and Incident Response through Community-Led Engagement, or CIRCLE, program, which was announced in November, dispatches unarmed teams comprising one outreach worker, one mental health clinician or licensed behavioral health clinician and one community ambassador to respond to diverted calls in Venice and Hollywood.

The federal funding is part of a total of $5.8 million allocated for five projects aimed at addressing homelessness in Los Angeles County.

“We must do more to support individuals and families experiencing homelessness. I’m pleased that the local homelessness projects I advocated for have been included in the FY 2022 government spending package,” Lieu said Tuesday.

Along with $1.5 million for that pilot program, Lieu announced Tuesday:

— $2 million for an affordable housing project that will replace a parking structure in Santa Monica;

— $1 million for a homelessness response project in Torrance that will help identify city sites for potential permanent supportive or transitional housing;

— $600,000 for the UCLA Mobile Healthcare Program to provide preventative care to unhoused individuals, including veterans, as well as people who lack insurance or documentation; and

— $749,650 to assist in the renovation of Arnold Avenue on the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center campus to create a pedestrian-friendly space and support residents who will live in three buildings being converted into permanent supportive housing for veterans.

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