A One-Stop Shop for Serving
Homeless Families in South LA

Thanks to Measure H, a one-stop shop for services to families experiencing homelessness has opened in South Los Angeles, helping an estimated 300 households – or about 1,100 men, women and children – stay off the streets on any given night.

LA Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, HOPICS Director Veronica Lewis, LA Councilman Curren Price, Special Services for Groups’ Herb Hatanaka

The HOPICS Family Solutions Center brings together more than 10 nonprofit and government agencies, and acts as a hub for a comprehensive range of services, including housing, jobs, and mental health and substance abuse treatments. HOPICS stands for Homeless Outreach Program Integrated Care System, and it is the lead nonprofit agency for coordinating homeless services in South LA.

Located in what used to be the Weber bakery, the 40,000-square foot Center began serving homeless families in July, and is continuing to hire staff to ramp up its operations. It currently receives almost $9 million in funding from LA County, including $6 million from Measure H, a 1/4-cent sales tax championed by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and approved by voters in March 2017. It also receives about $1 million from LA City.

From July-December 2017, the Center:

  • screened more than 3,000 families;
  • helped 630 families avoid homelessness;
  • helped more than 125 families avoid eviction;
  • provided crisis housing to more than 465 homeless families; and
  • helped 50 homeless families find a stable place to live.

Trauma Resource Center at the HOPICS Family Solutions Center

“This is Measure H at work, and it’s only the beginning,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said. “Together with our growing network of public and private partners, we are expanding services to get people off the streets and into homes. That’s how we’re going to solve this crisis – with everyone pitching in to help.”

“Measure H has enabled us to double our staff and activate the collective resources of multiple public and private partners to help families experiencing homelessness,” HOPICS director Veronica Lewis said. “Each day, we keep about 300 families off the streets as we work with them to find a safe place to live.”

Domonique Butler, who is eight and a half months pregnant, said she is grateful for the help. “I feel awesome about this Center,” she said. “HOPICS is wonderful because they help me out in so many different ways.”

Measure H is expected to raise $355 million every year for 10 years to provide supportive services to the homeless. This unprecedented funding stream is expected to help 45,000 homeless men, women and children move into stable housing within the next five years, and provide them with the high-quality, multi-dimensional supportive services they need to succeed in the long run. It is also expected to prevent an estimated 30,000 people from becoming homeless.

HOPICS ribbon cutting ceremony with (L-R) LA Homeless Services Authority executive director Peter Lynn, LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Special Services for Groups’ Herb Hatanaka, HOPICS Director Veronica Lewis and LA Councilman Curren Price. All photos by Martin Zamora/Board of Supervisors

Giving the Gift of Help

Once homeless herself, Shaunte Davis is now helping others get their lives back on track. Thanks to Measure H, she and her fellow “housing navigators” at St. Margaret’s Center in Inglewood help take individuals and families off the streets and into housing. 8

Building a Better Life for the Homeless

Two brothers who used to live in makeshift encampments along the LA River take a tour of what will become their new home. It’s part of Los Angeles County’s unprecedented efforts to end the crisis of the homeless through Measure H.

 

Home for the Holidays

Monica Potts has been in and out of homelessness for over 30 years, but her life has taken a turn for the better, thanks to Los Angeles County’s efforts to combat homelessness through Measure H.

Expanding Services for
the Sick, Injured and Homeless

Los Angeles County is giving more homeless patients a safe place to heal, and placing them on a path to housing.

Thanks to Measure H, the County added 250 beds to its recuperative care network just in the past year, bringing the total to 432 beds distributed across 12 locations in Metro and South Los Angeles, Long Beach, Sylmar and Bell. This allows homeless patients to avoid going back out on the streets, where they are at far greater risk of becoming ill or injured all over again

Jennifer Campbell said she was grateful to receive treatment at the 100-bed Martin Luther King, Jr. Recuperative Care Center (MLK RCC) in Willowbrook. “They brought me to a room, and I had my own bed, and I had my own space,” she said. “I was indeed grateful – I was just happy to be alive.”

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas at grand opening of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Recuperative Care Center in 2016. Photo by Diandra Jay/Board of Supervisors

The MLK RCC, part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medical Campus, opened in January 2016 and takes in about 600 patients a year. “The MLK RCC provides homeless patients with a place to heal and a path to recovery,” Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said. “In addition to temporary housing, they receive round-the-clock care, including nursing, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatments, life skills classes, and other services to help them achieve stability and transition into permanent supportive housing.”

A variety of nonprofit partners operate the County’s 12 recuperative care centers, but the Department of Health Services’ Housing for Health Division oversees the entire network.

A recently released three-year study by the RAND Corporation found Housing for Health initiatives, including recuperative care, saved taxpayers thousands of dollars by reducing hospitalizations and emergency room visits.

“Our hospitals are often hamstrung with no place to discharge homeless patients, necessitating that we hold up a bed for days when other patients truly need them,” County Health Agency director, Dr. Mitch Katz, said. “Recuperative care improves outcomes, reduces emergency room utilization, and creates health system savings that are more than offset by the costs of adding recuperative beds.”

One of the treatment rooms at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Recuperative Care Center. Photo by DHS.

The County’s recuperative care network provides short-term transitional care for homeless patients discharged by County-run and private hospitals, as well as those exiting custody facilities with complex health and behavioral health conditions. There, health practitioners can provide services like dressing changes and wound care for patients who no longer require hospitalization, but whose condition could worsen if they were to return to the street. They typically provide such ‘respite’ care over four to 10 weeks on average, depending on the patients’ needs.

While the patients are recovering, social workers will link them to transitional ‘bridge’ or permanent housing with wraparound supportive medical, substance abuse and behavioral health services that can help them remain housed and medically managed.

Over the next 10 years, Measure H will provide over $3 billion that will be dedicated to homeless programs such as wraparound supportive services for those living in independent housing, rental subsidies, street engagement teams, case management and homeless prevention efforts. Recuperative care beds and services are funded through several sources, including Measure H, which has funded the addition of 250 new recupe