On September 14, 2023, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass announced that more than 40 people had been brought inside from an encampment in Van Nuys as part of the city's Inside Safe program.
This marked the 25th Inside Safe operation to date, and Bass hailed it as a sign of progress in the city's fight against homelessness. The Van Nuys Inside Safe operation was conducted in partnership with Councilmember Imelda Padilla and Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath.
Inside Safe is a citywide initiative launched by Bass in December 2022. The program aims to bring people inside from encampments and provide them with short-term housing, services, and support to help them transition to permanent housing.
Mayor Bass’ first City budget includes an unprecedented $1.3 billion investment to confront the homelessness crisis, including $250 million for Inside Safe. (Source)
Under Inside Safe, outreach workers visit encampments and offer everyone at the camp a hotel room. If people accept the offer, they are transported to the hotel and provided with case management services.
So far, Inside Safe operations have housed roughly 1500 people according to the press release.
Is Inside Safe a sustainable solution? Some critics have argued that Inside Safe is not a sustainable solution to the city's homelessness crisis. They argue that the program is too expensive and that it does not address the root causes of homelessness.
The 2023 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count showed showed a 9% rise in homelessness on any given night in Los Angeles County to an estimated 75,518 people and a 10% rise in the City of Los Angeles to an estimated 46,260 people.
One challenge that Inside Safe faces is finding enough motel rooms and other temporary housing for people who are experiencing homelessness. The city has said that it is working to secure more housing.
Despite challenges, Bass has remained committed to Inside Safe. She has argued that the program is an essential part of the city's overall strategy to address homelessness.
Thursday Mayor Bass also announced that more than 7,000 units of affordable housing are in the City of Los Angeles’ development pipeline.