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Metro Board Approves Contract Extension for Ongoing Homeless Outreach Services on the Metro System

Thursday May 23, 2019

In efforts to help address L.A. County’s homeless crisis and the long-term challenges it has placed on its transit system, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board of Directors today approved a contract extension with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services to continue providing homeless outreach services on buses and trains for an additional two years.

Under the terms of the extension, Metro’s City, County, Community (C3) outreach teams — who offer housing services to homeless individuals on the agency’s transit properties — will be retained until May 2021. The cost for these services is approximately $4.9 million per year.

The Metro Board originally approved $1.2 million to deploy multidisciplinary homeless outreach teams expressly on the Metro system in late 2016.  Metro has since grown the number of its C3 homeless outreach teams from two to eight teams systemwide.  These teams operate seven days a week on Metro Rail, Metro Buses and at Los Angeles Union Station.  They help find temporary or permanent housing services for interested homeless individuals who have taken to Metro’s system and properties for alternative shelter.

“As a result of LA County’s Homeless Initiative, over the last 18 months more than 27,000 people have been placed in permanent homes, while tens of thousands of others have been set on a path from homelessness to housing,” said L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair Sheila Kuehl. “Metro has been part of this tremendous effort. Our contract with the Department of Health Services allows outreach workers to engage men and women experiencing homelessness on our buses and rail lines and link them to much-needed services.”

Metro also created a Homeless Task Force in 2016 to address the growing homeless challenge.  Metro developed a Homeless Action Plan aimed at improving the transit customer experience, maintaining a safe and secure system, and providing coordinated homeless outreach with other city and county stakeholders.

Since officially beginning an outreach pilot program in May 2017, Metro’s C3 teams have made significant progress, contacting nearly 4,800 homeless individuals.  Nearly 1,200 of those individuals have been linked to permanent housing solutions, with a total of 88 homeless persons permanently housed. 

“Metro is committed to operating a safe and high-quality environment for all our transit customers, but our commitment doesn’t stop there,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “We are acting in a socially responsible and caring manner by connecting the homeless with critically needed services and resources that our county has to offer.”

According to the 2018 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, 53,000 in L.A. County are homeless and 75 percent of those individuals are without shelter. 

For more information on Metro’s efforts to address homelessness, please visit http://metro.net/riding/homeless-task-force/.

About Metro
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is unique among the nation’s transportation agencies. Created in 1993, Metro is a multimodal transportation agency that transports about 1.3 million passengers daily on a fleet of 2,200 clean air buses and six rail lines. The agency also oversees bus, rail, highway and other mobility-related building projects and leads transportation planning and programming for Los Angeles County.

Stay informed by following Metro on The Source and El Pasajero at metro.net, facebook.com/losangelesmetro , twitter.com/metrolosangeles and twitter.com/metroLAalerts and instagram.com/metrolosangeles.

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