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.
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.
“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
Homeless Families in South LA