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L.A. addresses American Indian Homeless Issue

Last week, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion to assess and address the specific needs of American Indian and Alaskan Native individuals experiencing homelessness in LA County. The motion was spearheaded by Board Chair Janice Hahn and Supervisor Hilda Solis along with the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission (LANAIC). 

Los Angeles County is home to the largest population of American Indian and Alaska Natives (AIAN) in the United States. The AIAN population experiences disproportionately high rates of poverty, suicidal ideation, alcohol and pain reliever abuse, as well as other risk factors for homelessness.  Yet, current data on the scope of AIAN homelessness, as well as targeted and culturally-sensitive solutions, are limited within the County. 

The motion approved last week instructs the County and partners to formally assess the needs of the homeless AIAN population. The report will include a baseline count of homeless individuals with demographic statistics, recommendations on how to better capture AIAN homelessness data moving forward and strategies for improving the availability of AIAN culturally inclusive services that properly identify the existing gaps in resources

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