Congressman Gomez Hosts Virtual Community Forum on Housing and Homelessness
Los Angeles, February 19, 2021
Los Angeles – This week, Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) hosted a Virtual Community Forum on Housing and Homelessness to listen to the concerns and experiences of local advocacy groups in addressing Los Angeles’ ongoing homelessness and affordable housing crisis.
“Effectively tackling homelessness in Los Angeles and across the country requires a meaningful understanding of housing security and stability, as well recognizing the array of social, economic, and regional factors that play a role in the lives of our constituents,” said Congressman Gomez. “An issue of such magnitude demands nothing less than an all-hands-on-deck approach, and I’d like to thank the organizations who joined me for this virtual community forum. I applaud their commitment to help Los Angeles develop strategies to end homelessness and ensure housing security for all of our residents. This forum is the first of many next steps, and I look forward to convening more conversations with advocates and the greater community to implement solutions together.”
“We appreciate Congressman Gomez’s advocacy for those in our community facing housing and job insecurity during this pandemic,” said Mark Loranger, President & CEO of Chrysalis. “Chrysalis is working with our community, providing employment and other support services, and we urgently need Federal resources to help those we serve navigate the current crisis and the recovery ahead.”
"As a member of the Skid Row community that has been supporting women experiencing homelessness for over 42 years, the Downtown Women's Center appreciates Congressman Gomez - who powerfully represents the needs of unhoused Angelenos in Washington - bringing together service providers and advocates to discuss our shared advocacy priorities, current challenges, and possible solutions to reducing homelessness here in Los Angeles and across the country,” said Amy Turk, CEO of the Downtown Women’s Center.
"PATH greatly appreciates the Congressman’s long-standing commitment to these critical issues,” said Steve Fiechter, Senior Director, Metro LA Programs, of PATH (People Assisting the Homeless). “As one of the state's largest service providers, we stand ready to work with him on solutions that will house our unsheltered neighbors and prevent more people from falling into homelessness."
“LA County is home to the largest community of American Indian and Alaska Natives (AIAN) of any county in the United States,” said Alexandra Valdes, Executive Director of the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission. “Sadly, LA County’s AIAN population is 5.5 times more likely to experience homelessness according to their share of the population This is a direct result of the disproportionate impact of structural racism and subsequent intergenerational trauma on the AIAN community, further exacerbated by health and economic disparities and disproportionate eviction and foreclosure rates.”
“We urge the U.S. Congress to pass a budget with strong support for affordable housing programs,” said Lee Raagas, CEO of the Skid Row Housing Trust. “We know that homes end homelessness. We know that incomes have not kept pace with housing costs. Unless we can prevent people from falling into homelessness in the first place, the problem will always outpace the solutions.”
Congressman Gomez’s Virtual Community Forum on Housing and Homelessness was attended by the following organizations:
Downtown Women’s Center
People Assisting the Homeless (PATH)
Skid Row Housing Trust
United American Indian Involvement, Inc.
Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission
LA County Dept. of Health Services - Housing for Health
Weingart Center Association
The Shower of Hope
Poor People’s Campaign
Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA)
Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing (SCANPH)