July 30, 2019 at 2:46 pm PDT | by Staff reports
West Hollywood homeless population increasing

The annual Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s (LAHSA) homeless count was published earlier this month which revealed that the City of West Hollywood had seen an increase in homeless people within the city’s incorporated boundaries.

The results of the annual LAHSA indicates that the total count for the city is 131, an increase from 100 in 2018 and 105 in 2017.

Corri Planck, the city’s Strategic Initiatives Manager noted in a press statement that the City of West Hollywood is committed to providing comprehensive assistance to people experiencing homelessness.

California’s Governor Gavin Newsom announced last May that he has ordered the creation of a task force on homelessness as California grapples with a mounting housing crisis that has seen record numbers of the state’s residents without having a safe and secure place to call home.

The city’s Homeless Initiative addresses homelessness with a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency, collaborative response, Planck wrote in the statement. The Homeless Initiative works in close partnership with the City’s contracted and collaborative nonprofit social services providers, the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, and Los Angeles County agencies to address homelessness.

This includes direct street outreach services to homeless community members that offer shelter, substance abuse treatment, health care, mental health services, housing opportunities, and more. The outreach teams also provide assistance such as food and hygiene kits, as well as blankets, socks, and other emergency supplies.

LAHSA Executive Director Peter Lynn appeared before the LA County Board of Supervisors last April to give them an idea of where the numbers were headed.

“Regardless of the direction of the count, there are tens of thousands of Angelenos who are experiencing homelessness, and that is far too many,” Lynn told the supervisors.

The results of the 2019 homeless count in Los Angeles County will include a detailed demographic and geographic breakdown. It amounts to a comprehensive census of Los Angeles County’s homeless people the Laist reported.

The City of West Hollywood’s Homeless Initiative has achieved positive measurable results in collaboration with grant-funded community partners over the past three years the statement noted. Illustrating that point, the city writes:

Ascencia has housed 50 people who were formerly homeless in West Hollywood and Step Up On Second has housed 28 individuals, for a total of 78 people successfully placed into permanent housing. This includes chronically homeless community members who are impacted by severe and persistent mental illness, which make the barriers and challenges in bringing people into service and housing even greater;
The LA LGBT Center’s Youth Center has provided emergency shelter and transitional living services for West Hollywood-affiliated youth, including 9,255 bed nights for 87 unduplicated youth;

A total of 381 West Hollywood residents accessed City of West Hollywood rental assistance programs through NCJW/LA and the Alliance for Housing & Healing, enabling them to remain in their rental housing in West Hollywood and preventing them from falling into homelessness;

Tarzana Treatment Center and Safe Refuge provided detox and residential treatment to at least 22 unduplicated West Hollywood community members who were homeless and McIntyre House’s assisted 35 West Hollywood clients with housing and treatment of which 18 had become homeless due to their substance abuse; and Housing Works provided housing retention services and support to 30 individuals who were formerly homeless in West Hollywood who have been housed through the City’s allocated Continuum of Care vouchers through the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles (HACoLA) or through the Housing Authority of City of Los Angeles (HACLA).

The City of West Hollywood’s Homeless Initiative provides on-site outreach and services at West Hollywood Library during weekdays. Outreach is designed for people in the community who are homeless and is coordinated by representatives from direct service nonprofit organizations. The program is a strategic collaboration of the City of West Hollywood, the County of Los Angeles Public Library, and the City’s contracted social services provider organizations.

A three-minute Public Service Announcement (PSA) about the City of West Hollywood’s Homeless Initiative is available on the City’s WeHoTV YouTube channel.

The city askes that if you are concerned about a community member who is homeless, call the West Hollywood Homeless Initiative Concern Line at (323) 848-6590. If your concern requires time-sensitive assistance during nights or weekends, please call the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station at (310) 855-8850. For additional information, please visit www.weho.org/homeless.

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