Dr. Va Lecia Adams Kellum garners the support of Mayor Karen Bass, Los Angeles County Supervisor Chairman Janice Hahn, and LAHSA President Wendy Greuel in this newly created position as CEO
by Nick Antonicello
VENICE – Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, in cooperation with Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, has announced her support for the newly created position of Executive Director of the embattled and controversial Homeless Services Authority of Los Angeles, or more commonly known as LAHSA, the hybrid government institution. entity created to combat the problems of homelessness that has had mediocre and mixed results at best.
The new position was filled by Dr. Va Lecia Adams Kellum, who is an architect of the new “Inside Safe” strategy that has seen significant progress here in Venice with the cleaning and sweeping of homeless encampments in various locations, including Flower, Hampton and Third.
For LAHSA, a sort of super government agency created in 1993 with over 300 employees, 830 people and 240 teams, has been appointed for nearly 30 years to provide sensible outreach or at least manage this out-of-control housing crisis that isn’t working. . and he’s been the overwhelming 600-pound gorilla in the room in front of city and county officials for far too long.
The agency has been without leadership since May 27 when then-CEO Heidi Marston resigned over a dispute over salaries offered to the agency’s frontline workers.
The former CEO was paid handsomely, more than $260,000 a year, and reported to a 10-member commission of county and city officials whose mission is to oversee and implement policies that would turn the tide on homelessness, but often As investment dollars in this homeless cottage industry continue to grow, tangible results have been few.
LAHSA, headed by former Los Angeles Councilwoman and unsuccessful mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel, has also registered its support for this new CEO position, as well as this gigantic salary increase of nearly $200,000 for the agency’s new director. , calling the appointment of Adams Kellum “a big step in the right direction.”
But beyond the obvious ability to accurately count this street population, what are the reliable data-driven standards, goals, or targets for tailoring policies that actually assist and help the most vulnerable who are still struggling? on the streets?
This week, LAHSA will conduct its annual volunteer-driven homeless count, and Venice will be a part of the process beginning Wednesday.
While some initial progress has been made under the watchful eye of Mayor Bass and Councilwoman Traci Park, the size of the new CEO’s salary caught some by surprise.
And while unity and cooperation have been the tone of the Bass Administration, some wonder why paying someone other than the President of the United States is the best course of action.
Adams Kellum is currently the President and CEO of the Saint Joseph Center here in Venice, which just received nearly $900,000 in federal aid from the federal government secured by area US Congressman Ted Lieu. St. Joseph has offered teams to help the most vulnerable homeless people obtain temporary and permanent housing with mixed results. Under Adams Kellum, the bureaucracy at this nonprofit has quadrupled, leaving many wondering how much investment is required before a real decline in the homeless population occurs.
Adams Kellum was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to the California Department of Housing and Community Development’s “No Place Like Home” Advisory Committee and served on the LAHSA Ad Hoc Committee on Black Homelessness and the Network of Racial Equity of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. He is also a member of the California Housing Board.
Dr. Adams Kellum’s full compensation package was not available at this time with the exception of his title and salary change.
A lifelong Californian, Dr. Adams Kellum received her BA from USC, an MA from Ball State, and a Ph.D. from Stanford University.
Nick Antonicello is a thirty-year Venice resident who covers homelessness and how it affects the Venice neighborhood. Do you have an opinion or advice on all things Venice? Email Antonicello at [email protected]