In today's "Why" John Horn VP of Programs at LA Family Housing reflects on a recent article about a man that died after three decades on the streets as a "John Doe."
He was not born to become homeless and certainly had hopes and dreams of a better life. Despite his situation, he showed that he cared about the people he lived with as evidenced by the good deeds he performed in the strip mall - especially watching the unlocked shop. He was a man that lived among us but no one really knew who he was or even his real name.
While reading the article, I was thinking about LA Family Housing - as the SPA 2 Coordinated Entry System (CES) lead - and the work we are doing with local partners to create a process where by we will identify all ofhomeless persons in our community by name. It is important as we find persons like this man - to ask how they are doing, assess their needs, and see how we can help them to become permanently housed. This work puts a face to homelessness, making it not so common place. I think about our five SPA 2 CES Housing Navigators and how we now have a person assigned to the community where this man lived. The navigator will connect to persons experiencing homelessness to learn about them and their needs. It is outreach that has not been performed before in SPA 2 on such a large scale; our work will end the tragedy of a homeless person dying in the street who is known only as a "John Doe." Though this story is sad, I am encouraged by our Coordinated Entry System efforts and will use this as an example for why ending homelessness matters.
Partners like LA Family Housing are leading efforts in their community to identify all of our homeless neighbors, assess their needs and match them quickly to housing and services that best fit their needs through the Coordinated Entry System. They focus on providing permanent housing and services for our most vulnerable neighbors. This past week they held the Grand Opening of their latest housing development, Trudy and Norman Louis Apartments, which provides 45 units of permanent supportive housing and was partially filled by individuals identified and matched through the Coordinated Entry System.
Why do you believe in ending homelessness? What inspires you to keep working towards this goal?
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