This week, Council District 12 received the results for the 2018 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count. The results show that our Neighborhoods FIRST strategy is working with a reduction of homelessness by almost 20% within Council District 12.
By funding both increased outreach services and code enforcement, our all-hands-on-deck approach is turning the tide by reducing the total number of individuals experiencing homelessness on our streets. This crisis is far from resolved, but Neighborhoods FIRST provides a blueprint for how we can help those living on our streets while protecting the health and safety of neighborhoods.
The 2018 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count surveyed 700 homeless individuals living within Council District 12. This is a reduction from 869 in 2017 and a peak of 906 in 2016.
Neighborhoods FIRST began in late 2016 with the Clean Streets Clean Starts Initiative which paired individuals experiencing homelessness with job skills training through a neighborhood beautification program. In exchange for attending regular neighborhood clean ups, participants received drug treatment, job training, food gift cards, and access to housing. The program model has since spread to communities across Los Angeles.
In 2017, Councilmember Mitchell Englander began directing office resources to fund additional deployments for LAPD HOPE teams and LA Sanitation workers. These teams work jointly with homeless outreach services to ensure that encampments don’t threaten public health and that individuals living on the street are given the option of immediate shelter and access to LAHSA’s Coordinated Entry System.
Additionally, Neighborhoods FIRST has involved launching public-private partnerships with the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission including fund raising for two mobile shower units to provide approximately 1500 showers per month per unit along with outreach services, Donuts & Donations drives to support the Mission, and the 250LA Project to engage local small businesses in supporting homeless services.
The full 2018 Greater Homeless Count is available on the LAHSA website.