|The Los Angeles Services Homeless Authority (LAHSA) is the region’s main homeless services agency and is a City-County joint powers authority. It is responsible for overseeing resource coordination and management for the region’s 56,000+ homeless individuals, collecting data on homelessness and conducting street outreach. While the City has spent $10.3 million over the past two years to support LAHSA’s outreach efforts, the number of homeless in Los Angeles has jumped 16 percent over the last year alone.
Last week, L.A. Controller Ron Galperin released his latest report, “Strategy on the Streets,” which reviewed the City’s outreach contract with LAHSA. It detailed LAHSA’s achievements, its shortcomings and how it is performing in the City of Los Angeles. Specifically, the report went over how Los Angeles can work with LAHSA to implement a more successful outreach strategy with clearer goals and measurable results. Galperin found that at least two-thirds of LAHSA’s efforts are directed toward responding to homeless encampment complaints. He also discovered that LAHSA fell short of the majority of its core outreach goals, including placing the homeless into permanent housing, connecting them with bridge housing, and helping those with mental health and substance abuse issues. And the few goals it did achieve show only minor progress made in critical areas.
“If the City wants to make real progress on homelessness, it has to take a sober look at the programs it’s funding and come up with more strategic ways to achieve goals,” said Galperin. “My report shows that a better plan to reach out to the City’s homeless population is needed. LAHSA is spending far too much time reacting to complaints and contacting far too few people as a result. By implementing a data-drive approach, LAHSA will be able to engage in proactive outreach and get more people off the streets and into shelters and homes.”
This issue of Controller Galperin’s newsletter provides a comprehensive overview of the LAHSA report, including its findings, recommendations and public reaction. At the end is a survey on how homelessness impacts your community. Please read the newsletter, take the survey and pass it along to your neighbors, co-workers and friends.