The Comprehensive Homeless Strategy
Earlier this year, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) conducted their annual homeless count, with Councilmember Blumenfield and his staff leading the effort in the West Valley. Their results concluded there was an 11% increase in the number of homeless city wide, but there was a marked increase of 35% throughout the Valley.
The Mayor and Council have now approved a multi-tiered holistic program to target homelessness in a new way, starting with improving how the City, County, and nonprofits coordinate their efforts.
The City will invest $138 million over the next year, targeting trends that lead people to homelessness including mental health and addiction, as well as building affordable housing and support services.
Team Blumenfield volunteering as part of the 2016 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count. Blumenfield’s Reseda office was used as a deployment site for the Count in the West Valley.
What are the Core Elements in the Strategy?
Promoting a “No Wrong Door” Approach
This approach coordinates services in a way so that any homeless individual can be linked to supportive services regardless of their point of entry. Whether it’s through LAPD, LAFD, Department of Sanitation, or any City agency, that person will be connected to the assistance they need.
Growing the Coordinated Entry System (CES)
For efficiency, it is important to understand what types of services the homeless population is utilizing and be able to track people living on the street. The CES is operating in all of Los Angeles County and coordinates our government with over 100 different providers. By continuing to update and improve this system, homeless individuals can receive personalized services tailored to their needs to help ensure a brighter future.
Creating New Facilities
Facilities for the homeless, including public hygiene and storage space, are integral to the homelessness strategy. These facilities and services can mitigate the effects of homelessness in the short term while housing is being identified and they also provide an opportunity to engage with homeless individuals. A few of the new types of facilities that are proposed include safe parking space and citywide mobile shower and public restroom units.
‘Housing First’ is an approach that swiftly provides homeless individuals with permanent shelter and then provides essential services. This initiative focuses on helping the most vulnerable individuals on the street in the most efficient way possible. Research has shown that this is a cost effective way to break the cycle for those who are chronically homeless.
This program is different from ‘Housing First’ because it is meant for individuals who recently fell into homelessness and need temporary assistance. It has individualized and flexible services including rental and employment assistance and can be used for individuals or families. This helps prevent those struggling from continuing the path to chronic homelessness.
For more information on the Comprehensive Homeless Strategy click here.
Important Frontline Contacts
For Community Members Who Would Like to Help:
Lutheran Social Services of Southern California- Canoga Park
21430 Strathern St. Canoga Park, 91304
1851 Tyburn St. Glendale, 91204
San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission
8756 Canby Ave. Northridge, 91325
Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA)
Emergency Response Team—(213) 225-6581
For Homeless in Need of Services:
Department of Mental Health
Mobile Triage Team- (818) 610-6720
LA Family Housing
Homeless Family Solutions- (818) 255– 2766
Services for Veterans Families- (818) 255-2607
The Homeless Families Solutions System
Overall Homeless Services- 211
San Fernando Rescue Mission
Overall Homeless Services- (818) 785-4476
Watch a brief segment on the Homeless Town Hall that Councilmember Blumenfield hosted on September 12th, 2016.