Homelessness Resources, Data and Volunteer Opportunities
People experiencing homelessness has reached a crisis level in Los Angeles. Action to help those in need plus action to find short term and long term solutions to the root causes of the epidemic are happening at a rapid rate, as they should. Homelessness didn’t happen overnight and solutions will not happen overnight. It is very complex and overwhelming to contemplate, but ignoring it is not an option. This list of organizations offers many opportunities for our community to get involved through volunteering and education. The first step is understanding these root causes so together we can continue to help our communities find viable solutions to services and housing.
If you know of someone experiencing homelessness or about to become homeless, there are many resources to help.
LINKS TO INFORMATION and RESOURCES – Click sites for program and services details
LA-HOP is designed to assist people experiencing homelessness in LA County with outreach services using information to dispatch a homeless services outreach team to the area. With just a few clicks on a smartphone, tablet, or computer, this portal makes it easier to request help for people experiencing homeless. Link to LA-HOP https://lacounty.gov/lahop/
South Bay Coalition to End Homelessness (SBCEH) is the lead homelessness collaborative in the LA Continuum of Care (CoC) whose mission is to transform and end homelessness in the South Bay through education, advocacy and coordination. Link to SBCEH https://www.sbceh.org/
People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) Across the state, they help people find permanent housing and provide case management, medical and mental healthcare, benefits advocacy, employment training, and other services to help them maintain their homes stably. PATH envisions a world where every person has a home. Link to PATH https://www.epath.org/about/
2020 GREATER LOS ANGELES HOMELESS COUNT RESULTS – The report captures a picture of homelessness in Los Angeles County as it was in January 2020, the time of this year’s Homeless Count, and before the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic could be felt, measured, or responded to through efforts such as Project Roomkey, rent freezes, and eviction moratoriums. Link to Data: https://www.lahsa.org/homeless-count/
Homeful LA provides opportunities to serve with one of the direct service providers in your area and throughout Los Angeles County. Click the Volunteer button and discover the right volunteer opportunity for you or your group. Link to Homeful LA https://homeful.la/
L.A. County Measure H is the Los Angeles County Plan to Prevent and Combat Homelessness” creates a one-quarter of a cent sales tax, which generates funds for the specific purposes of funding homeless services and short-term housing. Link to Measure H https://homeless.lacounty.gov/measure-h/
L.A. City Proposition HHH – Assures $1.2 billion over 10 years for construction projects to provide “safe, clean, affordable housing for the homeless and for those in danger of becoming homeless.” Link to Measure H https://homeless.lacounty.gov/measure-h/
United Way’s campaign focused on ending homelessness across Los Angeles County by providing critical services to those who need it most and helping transition people experiencing long-term homelessness with short-term and permanent housing solutions.. Link to Everyone In https://everyoneinla.org/
Basic terms and acronyms in reference to homelessness
CHRONICALLY HOMELESS – An individual or family that is homeless and resides in a place not meant for human habitation, a safe haven, or in an emergency shelter, and has been homeless and residing in such a place for at least one year or on at least four separate occasions in the last three years. The head of household must have a diagnosable substance use disorder, serious mental illness, developmental disability, post-traumatic stress disorder, brain injury, or chronic physical illness or disability.
CES – Coordinated Entry System – is a process through which the most vulnerable homeless residents of Los Angeles County are matched with the available and appropriate housing resources.
Continuum of Care (CoC) – is a term that serves dual purposes in the arena of homeless service delivery. As a service delivery system, a Continuum of Care is an integrated system of care that guides and tracks homeless individuals and families through a comprehensive array of housing & services designed to prevent and end homelessness. As a jurisdictional body, a Continuum of Care is a regional or local planning body that coordinates housing and services funding for homeless families and individuals. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) serves as the CoC for the City and most of the County of Los Angeles. Through its Continuum of Care program the Department of Housing and Urban Development allocates homeless assistance grants to CoCs.
Diversion/Prevention – Service programs that divert persons who are at imminent risk of losing their housing from entering the homeless system.
Emergency Shelters (Non-Disaster Related) – Temporary shelter and services designed to facilitate homeless individuals and families’ transition from the streets to appropriate housing.
Harm Reduction – Similar to Housing First, the Harm Reduction philosophy prioritizes housing stability among persons who have experienced homelessness and who may be facing disabilities.
Homeless – (a) People who are living in a place not meant for human habitation, in emergency or transitional housing, or are exiting an institution where they temporarily resided. (b) People who are losing their primary nighttime residence, which may include a hotel or a doubled-up situation, within 14 days and lack resources or support to remain in housing. (c) Families with children, or unaccompanied youth, who are unstably housed and likely to continue in that state, defined as no lease or ownership interest in a housing unit in the last 50 days, have had two or more moves in the last 60 days, and who are likely to continue to be unstably housed. (d) People who are fleeing domestic violence, have no other residence, and lack resources to obtain permanent housing.
Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) – Is a local information technology system used to collect client-level data and data on the provision of housing and services to homeless individuals and families and persons at risk of homelessness. Each Continuum of Care is responsible for selecting an HMIS software solution that complies with HUD’s data collection, management, and reporting standards.
Housing First – An approach that offers permanent housing as quickly as possible for people experiencing homelessness, particularly for people with long histories of homelessness and co-occurring health challenges, while providing the supportive services people need to keep their housing and avoid returning to homelessness. Income, sobriety and/or participation in treatment or other services are voluntary and are not required as a condition for housing.
Rapid Re-Housing (RRH) – A housing intervention that connects homeless individuals and families (from emergency shelters or the streets) to permanent housing through the provision of time-limited financial assistance and targeted supportive services.
PSH – Permanent Supportive Housing refers to long-term rental subsidy contracts that facilitate development of housing for homeless and chronically individuals and families, targeting a variety of special needs populations such as seniors, families, transition-aged youth, veterans and the disabled. Program partners provide on-site supportive services.
SAFE PARKING A program that provides a safe parking environment and supportive services for transitional homeless individuals living in their vehicles for overnight stays. Onsight service providers work with participants to help develop a plan with a final emphasis on permanent housing, employment and training. Refers to a program to help car dwelling neighbors by providing safe parking options with a safe place to park each
SPA – Service Planning Areas – A specific geographic region within Los Angeles County. These distinct regions allow the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to develop and provide more relevant public health and clinical services targeted to the specific health needs of the residents in these different areas. The San pedro area is part of SPA 8 – South Bay managed by Harbor Interfaith.
Sheltered Homeless – A homeless person that resides in an emergency shelter, including temporary emergency shelters only open during severe weather; or in transitional housing for homeless individuals who originally came from the streets or emergency shelters.
Supportive Services – The supportive services provided in supportive housing are what distinguish supportive housing from other types of affordable housing. To the extent possible, the supportive services available in a supportive housing project should be customized with the needs of the tenants in mind. Supportive housing support services are intended to help ensure housing stability and to maximize each tenant’s ability to live independently
Transitional Age Youth (TAY) – Young people between the ages of sixteen and twentyfour who are in transition from state custody or foster care and are at-risk of homelessness. Once they turn 18 they can no longer receive assistance from the systems of care that previously provided for many of their needs.
Transitional Housing (TH) refers to a supportive – yet temporary – type of accommodation that is meant to bridge the gap from homelessness to permanent housing by offering structure, supervision, support (for addictions and mental health, for instance), life skills, and in some cases, education and training.
Unsheltered Homeless – A homeless person that resides in a place not meant for human habitation, such as cars, parks, sidewalks, abandoned buildings, or on the street.