LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) failed to meet five outreach goals in fiscal year 2018-19, having failed to meet seven of nine goals the previous year, according to a report issued by L.A. Controller Ron Galperin.
Galperin's office released the report Wednesday morning, detailing the magnitude of L.A.'s homelessness crisis and laying out some recommendations for how to improve the city's response to the growing problem.
The report defined outreach as "the process by which a representative of a homeless services agency contacts people experiencing homelessness in our public spaces in order to help connect them to resources, shelter, and eventually permanent housing -- sometimes with supportive services."
Despite the city allocating a combined $10 million for outreach services over the past two years, and the county providing a total of $44 million, LAHSA failed to meet a majority of its citywide outreach goals for the past two consecutive years.
With more than 56,000 people experiencing homelessness, the L.A. County area has the highest number of unsheltered homeless individuals in any major county in the United States, with 42,500 classed as unsheltered.
By contrast, New York City has a greater overall number of homeless individuals with 75,000. However, only 3,700 were classed as unsheltered.
The report, which is entitled "Strategy on the Streets," indicated a significant spike in the number of homeless people dying in Los Angeles; 918 in 2018, representing a 76 percent increase since 2014, and outpacing the percentage growth of L.A.'s total homeless population.
According to the report, people of color constitute a majority of L.A.'s homeless population with African Americans (19,000) and Latinos (20,504) comprising nearly 70 percent of the L.A. County area's total homeless population. African Americans in particular overrepresented, making up 33 percent of the homeless population, despite comprising just 9 percent of the county's general population.
The five outreach goals LAHSA failed to meet in FY 2018-19 were as follows:
1. Individuals who were placed into a shelter or bridge housing
a. Goal: 20 percent, LAHSA reported 14 percent
2. Individuals assessed who were placed in permanent housing.
a. Goal: 10 percent, LAHSA reported 4 percent
3. Individuals who self-identified a substance abuse disorder and obtained treatment.
a. Goal: 25 percent, LAHSA reported 6 percent
4. Individuals who self-identified a mental health need and obtained treatment.
a. Goal: 25 percent, LAHSA reported 4 percent
5. Program data is complete and accurate.
a. Goal: 95 percent, LAHSA chose not to report on this goal.
The report went on to make several recommendations to improve LAHSA's achievement gaps in order to provide improved homeless services for the people of L.A.
- Employing a Data Driven Approach to Homelessness
- Reassessing and Clarifying the Goals of Outreach
- Engaging in Proactive vs. Reactive Outreach
- Holding LAHSA Accountable for Performance
To read the full report, click here.