LOS ANGELES (LA TIMES)--Months after a judge shot down their first attempt, Los Angeles County officials announced an agreement they hope will finally settle a long-running federal lawsuit over the region’s treatment of homeless people.
The agreement, announced Wednesday, would commit the county to provide 1,000 additional beds for people with mental health issues and substance use disorders.
County officials first announced a settlement in September that would have nearly doubled the number of outreach teams serving people with severe mental illness and added 300 substance use and mental health beds, among other investments aimed at helping the region’s most vulnerable residents. The agreement was expected to signal the end of a years-long legal battle with the Los Angeles Alliance for Human Rights, a coalition of downtown residents and business groups that sued both the city and county in March 2020 for failing to comprehensively address homelessness.
But U.S. District Judge David Carter refused to approve the agreement, saying the county had not offered enough beds for people who are mentally ill or have substance abuse problems and that there was no way to ensure the county would uphold its side of the settlement.
At a November hearing, he said the two sides “can do better.”