Wilk's requested audit on homelessness in California highlights state's shortfalls

SACRAMENTO – Today, the California State Auditor released an audit requested by Senator Scott Wilk, R – Antelope Valley, last spring concerning homelessness in California and specifically the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s administration of public funds.  The audit was particularly timely as homelessness has surged in California and been catapulted to crisis levels in many of California’s cities and counties.

“Thank you to the the Auditor and her team for conducting this audit and outlining some’best practices’ moving forward. Clearly there is a lot to read and digest, but at first blush the audit appears to highlight what is obvious to many Californians; the state needs to do a better job of getting people off the streets. Local entities are struggling to keep up with the surging numbers of people without shelter or services,” said Wilk. “Years of bureaucratic malaise and inefficiencies have to be addressed if we are to get a handle on this problem and find a path that gets services and housing to the people that need it.”

California is home to 12 percent of the nation’s population but has 24 percent of its homeless. 134,000 Californians are without shelter. In contrast, the audit notes “New York and Boston shelter all but 5 percent and 3 percent, respectively, of their homeless populations.”

“The statistics comparing California with New York and Boston were eye-opening. Like California, these are both diverse, highly populated areas, yet they get the job done,” said Wilk. “There are many takeaways from this report that will guide us in determining an appropriate path forward. I will continue working with my colleagues to find ways to help our cities and counties efficiently and humanely address their needs as well as those of the homeless.”

In June of 2017 the Joint Legislative Audit Committee approved a request by Senator Wilk and Assemblyman Tom Lackey for an audit that would thoroughly investigate spending on homeless services in Los Angeles County. The audit released today is the result of that request.

The full auditor’s report can be found here.