January 18, 2020 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Cedars-Sinai Giving Out $15 Million in Grants to Local Groups Fighting Homelessness

St. Joseph’s Center, Venice Family Clinic among recipients.

By Sam Catanzaro

Cedars-Sinai, the non-profit hospital and health center, is contributing $15 million to 108 organizations that serve people experiencing homelessness, including many that serve Venice and the surrounding area.

The effort to address homelessness and housing stability comes at a critical time for the region. The 2019 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count found a 12 percent increase in homelessness across the county compared to a year ago, pushing the numbers of homeless residents in the area to nearly 59,000. The number of individuals experiencing homelessness in District 11, which includes Venice in 2019 is 2,284, a 16 percent increase from 2018.

The count also showed that 600,000 people countywide face critical housing stability issues because they spend more than 90 percent of their income on shelter.

“We take our role in the community as seriously as we take patient care, research and education,” said Cedars-Sinai President and CEO Thomas M. Priselac. “We are driven by a strategic focus on improving access to care and addressing social determinants of health. Ultimately, we are working to break down barriers that affect tens of thousands of people within the safety net.”

Among the organizations in and near Venice receiving contributions from Cedars-Sinai are Venice Family Clinic, St. Joseph Center and The People Concern.

St. Joseph Center is receiving $100,000 to train first responders in Culver City to meet the needs of the city’s homeless population and to teach members of the business community how to connect those who are homeless to social services.

The People Concern is receiving $100,000 to expand a “navigator” program that connects homeless patients at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital with community resources and services. The Los Angeles nonprofit received a $100,000 Cedars-Sinai grant last year to launch the program.

The grants, announced this month, will also support services for LGBTQ+, youth and veterans’ groups working to end homelessness. According to the Homeless Count, Council district 11 saw stark increases in homelessness among transition age youth between the ages 18-24 seeing a 50 percent increase (17 percent citywide), veterans a 47 percent increase (8 percent citywide) and transgender individuals a 248 percent increase (18 percent citywide).

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