The United Way’s Los Angeles Business Leaders Task Force on Homelessness released their plan on decreasing chronic homelessness by 70% within five years earlier today. From the LA Times and LAist:
Prominent business leaders are putting their weight behind a plan that they say could make a major dent in homelessness in Los Angeles County, embracing a strategy that will face significant political opposition.
Representatives of 22 organizations — including JP Morgan Chase, NBC Universal and Caltech — formed the task force in September 2009 after United Way of Greater L.A. approached the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce about engaging business leaders to find solutions to homelessness.
The task force spent 10 months meeting with local and national experts and visiting programs that have reduced homelessness in cities such as Denver and Santa Monica.
The key, task force members say, will be getting dozens of local institutions unified on the project. The group is asking county and city authorities, social service organizations, law enforcement agencies and faith-based groups to sign on to a detailed plan they call “Home for Good” by Dec. 1.
Click here to read the entire PDF from the “Home for Good” program, an excerpt which is seen below:
Creating an integrated system focused on rapidly housing people and providing them with the supports they need to thrive is critical to ending homelessness. It also allows us to utilize public and private dollars far more effectively and efficiently. Home For Good focuses on ending chronic and veteran homelessness in the next 5 years, with the ultimate mission of ending homelessness for all people through fundamentally changing our system. By focusing on solutions for chronic and veteran homelessness, we allow our mainstream and homeless services systems to focus on quickly resolving short‐term crises and providing critical interventions to return individuals and families to stability.
The foundation of a re‐imagined system is the notion that housing stability is a critical first step on the road to wellness. Vital health, mental health, and other supportive services are then provided after individuals are housed, enabling them to better address these challenges.
This approach is cost effective because it drastically reduces individuals’ stay in shelter or on the streets. By focusing resources on rapid access to permanent housing with supportive services provided after housing, the system can permanently house more people for the same cost, with higher rates of retention and success in housing.
Currently, our public systems invest $875 million each year to manage homelessness in our region rather than end it. This cost includes homeless individuals’ use of emergency rooms, jails, shelters, and other crisis services.
$650 million, three quarters of these resources, are consumed by one quarter of the homeless population.