LA2050

Activation Grantee Update: Everyone In

Posted September 17, 2019 by The United Way of Greater Los Angeles

Saying “yes" to supportive housing for the most vulnerable people

This is an update on the winning proposal from the LIVE category in the 2018 activation challenge. See the original proposal here.

Since January 2019, the Everyone In campaign has worked tirelessly to site and approve more supportive and affordable housing across L.A. County. With the added capacity we have brought to the housing and homelessness space in messaging, events, and organizing, we have successfully increased the number of units sited per year by 700%. Of the total number of units sited, roughly a third of them are under construction and will open their doors in a few years. The more supportive and affordable units that open, the more people we can bring indoors and chip away at the homelessness crisis.

Everyone In by the numbers

as of July 31, 2019

  • Facebook 39,831 (22%▲)
  • Twitter 15,700 (20%▲)
  • Instagram 5,117 (42%▲)
  • Email 36,139 (31%▲)
  • Supportive housing units sited 6,424
  • Units under construction 1,812

The work of the organizing team

Much of the success of Everyone In can be attributed to the work of our organizing team that cover every region in the county. The organizing team has been actively building community support for over 35 developments countywide. Local residents are getting involved and signing up for trainings to become “super advocates" skilled in the basics of community organizing and messaging. We've empowered residents to build their own local coalitions to address the crisis in their community through hosting events, canvassing, and engaging their elected officials on solutions that work. Our goal this year has been to move the thousands of people who have signed up for Everyone In up the engagement ladder to win local battles.

Engaging residents

To engage residents, we have relied on our digital outreach and events to cast the widest net to convert new supporters. To celebrate our first anniversary in March, we launched large ads on billboards, buses, and radio spots to build brand awareness. We've increased the number of local events to include The Advocates documentary screenings, a storytelling series called Stories From The Frontline in six communities, and Pop Ups at major community events. We've utilized a texting platform, Hustle, to engage new sign ups to invite them to a local event or have an organizer contact them for follow up. And finally, we've hosted bi-monthly orientations that have 30-40 participants call in during their lunch break on Fridays.

2019 Campaign Highlights

  • Hosted first anniversary event, Gather 2019, at Union Station L.A. with over 500 attendees
  • Increased to 13 organizers countywide
  • Developed training curriculum to focus on local overview, messaging, organizing tactics and strategy
  • Developing policy workshops with Abundant Housing L.A. and Inner City Law Center on preventative measures
  • Increase internal staff by 5 employees
  • Host bi-monthly call-in orientations to an estimated 30+ people per call

With the support of the Goldhirsh Foundation, we have expanded our organizing capacity and have new organizers dedicated to areas like Long Beach, Pomona/East San Gabriel Valley, Pasadena/West San Gabriel Valley, Antelope Valley, and East L.A./Gateway Cities. In jurisdictions outside of the City of L.A. we take a deeper look at improving policies that streamline development, provide legal protections for renters, and exploring ways the United Way can enter the rent stabilization conversation. The results of the 2019 Homeless Count showed a 12% increase countywide (16% in the City of L.A.) despite all the work we have done collectively to permanently house and site new development at record rates. Every day last year, we helped 133 homeless people move into permanent housing, but another 150 were driven into homelessness for the first time.

Partnerships

We've partnered with Abundant Housing L.A. and Inner City Law Center in developing our policy improvement work in the targeted seven jurisdictions with heavy focus in the City of Whittier, Long Beach, and unincorporated areas. We've worked with L.A. County's Homelessness Initiative and L.A. County Regional Planning Department on the Interim and Supportive Housing Ordinance (ISHO) that would streamline bridge and supportive housing development in unincorporated areas. Unincorporated areas has over 1.1 million residents in 120 communities and, if combined, would be considered the second largest city in the county. Since the unincorporated jurisdictions do not have an elected body, the Board of Supervisors act as their city council and mayor. We just finished community engagement on the ordinance and are waiting for the completion of a feasibility study. We are also looking into strategies to make the Temporary Rent Stabilization Ordinance, an annual cap of 3% rent increase and requiring just cause evictions, permanent in 2020.

Progress in the last six months

  • Number of attendees at events: Over 1,800 at 6 storytelling events
  • Number of people trained: Over 600 people trained
  • Number of policy improvements passed: 5 local laws passed, 1 pending in unincorporated areas
  • Number of campaign endorsements: 130 partner organizations and agencies