Earlier this month, Home For Good launched the Skid Row Coordinated Entry Pilot! Skid Row has long been known for its large homeless population. In 2011, this number totaled more that 4,000 individuals living on the streets and in shelters. For years, our homeless services system has struggled to find the best way to utilize resources to address the needs of our most vulnerable. Skid Row's Coordinated Entry Pilot will focus on creating a comprehensive system to quickly and effectively match homeless individuals in Skid Row to housing and services.
Christine Marge, Director of Housing Stability at United Way of Greater LA, helps launch the CES pilot at Lamp Community in Skid Row.
Many communities across the country have already created Coordinated Entry Systems (CESs) to dramatically increase the efficiency of efforts to find, house, and support homeless individuals. The promise of such systems, in terms of improved targeting and outcomes, are so dramatic that HUD has asked all Continuums of Care (CoC) to create and implement their own CES.
Recently, key policy makers and funders within Los Angeles’ CoC, including LAHSA, HACLA, DMH, DHS, CSH, and United Way of Greater Los Angeles, came together to start developing a CES for LA County. Their objective is to work closely with providers to create a system that can maximize resources and better serve our homeless neighbors. In order to facilitate the process, Home For Good is working closely with Community Solutions and has hired the Rapid Results Institute (RRI) to lead community engagement efforts.
The RRI is a non-profit consulting firm which works with groups of stakeholders to quickly and collaboratively design complex systems. The institute uses a model that challenges communities to think outside the box and create lasting systems change within 100 days. In Skid Row, the RRI will be working with front line staff from Skid Row providers including – Downtown Mental Health, Downtown Women’s Center, Exodus Recovery, Homeless Health Care LA, Lamp Community, LA Christian Health Centers, LA Mission, SHARE!, Skid Row Housing Trust, SRO Housing Corporation, St. Vincent DePaul, the Veterans Administration, and Weingart Center Association – to create a draft CES. Under the RRI model, staff will be given the opportunity to innovate as they lead the design and implementation of the project. Conversely, senior managers and policy makers will be tasked with scaling up lessons learned.
Over the next 100 days, the pilot project will create a draft CES that will focus on matching chronically homeless single adults with the most appropriate Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) units. This system will later be expanded to include all homeless individuals, chronic and non-chronic, and housing models and services beyond PSH. Among other elements, the pilot will focus on ensuring comprehensive outreach in Skid Row, creating a uniformed assessment tool, tracking available housing stock in real-time, and developing a system of prioritization.
The Skid Row Coordinated Entry Pilot presents an opportunity for community members and local nonprofits to inform the Countywide CES and create a system that best meets the needs of our homeless neighbors. We look forward to seeing what the Skid Row community creates in the next 100 days!