The Housing Crisis in Los Angeles
According to a recent report by the US Department of Housing and Human Development, the City of Los Angeles reported the largest number of chronically homeless people in the nation—over 13,000, 95% of whom live outdoors in cars, tents and encampments. Los Angeles also has more homeless veterans than any other city—over 2,700, despite an effort to reduce that number by one-third. Los Angeles also has the largest number of unaccompanied youths—over 3,000. All together, it is estimated that Los Angeles has over 44,000 homeless people, with Los Angeles County as a whole having over 156,000 people who are homeless at some point during the year. And the numbers are growing rapidly, as this is an 11% increase over the number of homeless in the City just last year.
The City is focused on solving this problem, and voters in November 2016 passed proposition HHH which will provide $1.2 billion of funding for Permanent Supportive Housing. However, the cost of PSH is very high, estimated to be over $350,000 per unit. This would only allow 3,400 PSH units to be constructed over the next 10 years, which will barely make a dent in the homeless crisis.
Permanent Supportive Housing
The People Concern’s work is rooted in the principle of Housing First. The agency works to stabilize its program participants in permanent supportive housing as quickly as possible and connect them to the range of resources necessary to sustain that housing.
The vast majority of The People Concern clients suffer from a combination of mental health and physical disabilities. Because they have difficulty maintaining their health and housing on their own, The People Concern offers ongoing, onsite supports to the individual, including: case management, mental health care, benefits assistance, substance abuse intervention and links to medical care and a variety of community resources.
These “wraparound services” greatly improve clients’ health and stability. Not only is “housing first” a benefit to the individual, but these services can be provided at a fraction of what it costs the public to provide systemic services to individuals in need.
In order to permanently end homelessness for its clients, The People Concern matches them with the optimal form of permanent supportive housing that will meet their specific needs. The agency currently has a 95% housing retention rate across all programs.