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CES Team

In March of this year, Home For Good launched a Pilot Coordinated Entry System in Skid Row which is focusing on creating a comprehensive system to quickly and effectively match homeless individuals to housing and services.  This week organizations participating in the pilot celebrated the completion of the first 100 days of the pilot by sharing their impressive accomplishments with over 100 community stakeholders.

The new CES, which was designed by on-the-ground service staff and is supported by government and philanthropic leaders, has housed more than 37 of the area’s most vulnerable people in just over three months. The system provides permanent supportive housing more quickly and democratically than ever before, and it has also empowered local agencies to radically improve the way they work together.

Over the last 100 days, teams participating in the Pilot CES have put together a four step process to move people into housing:

1.)    Universal Assessment: Administer an assessment to determine a person’s needs.

2.)    Navigation: Assist homeless individuals with housing navigation by assuring they have interim housing and documentation needed to access permanent housing placement.

3.)    Matching: Have housing providers pull clients from a unified housing list while assuring prioritization of the most vulnerable individuals.

4.)    Lease-Up: Once a client is matched to housing, assure a fast and smooth move-in process.

The system the teams have created is detailed in their Coordinated Entry Manual which also lists policy recommendations for scaling up CES countywide.

So what’s next for CES in Skid Row? The teams will be coming together to determine how they will work on refining their process in the second 100 days. In addition, policy leaders will be participating in their own 100 day pilot in which they will undertake important systems change to assure a countywide implementation of CES.

We are excited about the incredible work that will be taking place in the next couple of months, and would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the dozens of partners who have made incredible change possible during the first phase of this pilot!

Visit our Facebook page for pictures from the event and be sure to read yesterday’s article in the LA Times.

We would like to acknowledge all of the organization’s in Skid Row that have worked tirelessly to create a system to support our homeless neighbors at risk of dying on our streets -Homeless Health Care Los Angeles, Downtown Women’s Center, Lamp Community, LA Mission, Midnight Mission, Skid Row Housing Trust, Weingart Center Association, Exodus Recovery, LA Christian Health Centers, SHARE!, SRO Housing Corporation, St. Vincent DePaul, and FASGI, Volunteers of America. Also a special thanks to Community Solutions, the Rapid Results Institute, and the policy makers and funders that have supported the teams during the first 100 days – LAHSA, HACLA, DMH, DHS, CSH, Veterans Administration, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and United Way of Greater Los Angeles.  

Today the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation announced that it will award $7.8 million to the Home For Good initiative! Over the course of three years, this grant will be used to distribute $5.5 million to nonprofit organizations funded under the Home For Good Funders Collaborative. The award will also support United Way’s efforts to build public will through their annual HomeWalk, a 5K run/walk to end homelessness, and improve coordination among key players in the fight to end chronic and veteran homelessness in Los Angeles.

“We know permanent supportive housing works,” said Steven M. Hilton, Chairman, President & CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.  “Philanthropy can play a key role in bringing together very different players to address a complex issue such as ending homelessness.  Home For Good demonstrates that funding partnerships can leverage and align funding, and increase coordination between public and private sectors.”

The Hilton Foundation has long been a supporter of United Way of Greater Los Angeles’ and the Los Angeles Chamber Commerce’s work to address homelessness. In 2010, the foundation provided funding for the initial launch of Home For Good and, in 2011, helped seed the Home For Good Funders Collaborative through a $1 million challenge grant. In response to the announcement of the $7.8 million grant United Way’s CEO, Elise Buik, said “These funds will change the lives of thousands of our homeless neighbors and allows us to broaden and deepen our work to engage all sectors in this effort.”

Click HERE for the full press release.

On June 19, 2012 Los Angeles Times featured Elise Buik’s, United Way of Greater Los Angeles’ CEO, response to the June 13th Column “Group homes law needs work.” This is what Elise had to say:

The Los Angeles City Council has a critical opportunity to protect housing for our most vulnerable neighbors. Its vote on the Community Care Facilities Ordinance will decide whether thousands of low-income city residents will be in jeopardy of losing their housing.

This ordinance will not only limit access to affordable housing but also increase our city’s costs with unnecessary litigation and restrictions to federal funding, not to mention create a red tape nightmare for property owners and tenants. The City Council should be focusing on how we can improve enforcement of existing nuisance abatement laws, not adding more bureaucratic, costly laws that will do more damage than good.

The City Council should demonstrate that it cares for all our residents by creating a solution that fosters strong, healthy communities for everyone.

-Elise Buik

Click HERE for a direct link to the post.

On May 2, 2012, Mark Horvath from Invisible People wrote a blog about the proposed Community Care Facilities Ordinance. The article was featured on the Huffington Post. This is what Mark had to say:

“I hate politics. I do. Politics always seem so complicated — I like things simple. Plus, to me, politics means “lots of talk and little action.” I’d rather just start working hard to make things better than to waste years arguing who is right or wrong. But obviously if you’re someone like me who gives their all to fight homelessness, politics cannot be avoided. That’s the case with the Community Care Facilities Ordinance. Here I am minding my own business, just trying to build Invisible People while battling my own survival, and I start to hear all this chatter about some law that could hurt what little affordable housing we have now.

From what I understand Councilmember Mitchell Englander, representing 12th District Northwest San Fernando Valley, is proposing a citywide ordinance in an attempt to regulate sober living homes. But it looks like the ordinance is based on NIMBYism and may drastically reduce affordable housing for disabled, veterans, elderly, homeless, and other marginalized people.”

In discussing why the ordinance is bad news for affordable housing in Los Angles, Mark references housing advocates, Greg Spiegel -Director of Policy and Communications at Inner City Law Center- and Kerry Morrison – Executive Director of Hollywood Business Improvement District, who agree that the ordinance will have devastating effects throughout the city. Mark urges readers to take an important step to stop this harmful ordinance:

“We can stop this! The United Way [disclosure: former client] has listed all of Los Angeles’s council member’s contact info along with a nifty tool to create a letter on this blog post. The office for Councilmember Englander twitter account is here and maybe he’s listening. Please be respectful, but please let Councilmember Englandar know how you feel about this insane ordinance that’s headed down a path to cost tax payers lots of money.”

Read the full article HERE

Los Angeles County is often called the homeless capital of the nation. However, in the past couple of weeks Los Angeles County has been making headlines for the right reason – housing its most vulnerable neighbors. Earlier this month, the New York Times released an Editorial about Home For Good. The article highlights year one housing placements- over 3,000 homeless individuals moved into permanent housing!  The article says:

What makes those numbers so impressive is that Home for Good focuses on the hard-core homeless. Those troubled individuals are only about a quarter of the homeless population, but are a disproportionately heavy drain on public resources as they cycle through emergency rooms and jail cells.”

In the coming years, Home For Good’s success will depend on communities’ willingness to take responsibility for housing their homeless neighbors. Jerry Neuman, co-chairman of Home For Good, says it best when he states,

“…the answer is ‘scaling down,’ having each community take responsibility for the chronically homeless in its own neighborhoods. The homeless population, he said, is far less transient than many people believe. Reaching out to them, he said, thinking small, is the way to make a large dent in a huge problem.

To read the full article please visit: New York Times

This week Home For Good was featured in the LA Times! The article highlights the plan’s success in reaching year one goals and helping more than 3,000 homeless individuals move into housing.
The article states:

“The chronically homeless make up just a quarter of the 51,000 people without permanent shelter on any given night. But they use up a disproportionate share of public services, including hospital emergency rooms and jails, experts say. The plan proposes reallocating about $230 million in existing resources each year to pay for permanent supportive housing, which includes counseling and treatment to help keep people off the streets.

More than 100 community leaders and organizations — including the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, several cities and housing authorities, law enforcement officials and nonprofits — have endorsed the plan, according to a report that will be presented at a meeting Thursday. In all, 2,273 chronically homeless people have been placed in supportive housing, 573 more than hoped for the first year, the report says. At least 864 veterans who are not considered chronically homeless were also housed.”
Thank you to all of our Home For Good partners for making year one a success!

Read the Full Article

Christine Marge- Director of Housing and Financial Stability for the United Way of Greater LA, joined Colleen Williams on NBC’s Nonstop to talk about Home For Good and how it will help veterans who live on the streets of Los Angeles.

View more videos at: http://nbclosangeles.com.