Panel Designed to Suggest How to Spend Millions on L.A. County’s Homeless Population Can’t Agree

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An encampment of homeless people along 6th Street on skid row in early Nov. 2016. (Credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

After nine hours of deliberation, the panel of 50 that must recommend how L.A. County should spend $355 million a year of new homeless funds faced an existential reckoning.

Either the group was too large, or the mission too daunting. But something had to give.

The third of the panel’s four scheduled meetings ended last week with votes on whether to form a subcommittee to dig more deeply into the morass of competing interests — rejected — or to toss the quandary back to county executives for more guidance — approved.

A carefully scripted plan to reach consensus on how to divide the money over 21 strategies, from better street outreach to more rental subsidies, quickly faltered under the complexity of funding sources, philosophical nuances and strong personalities.

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