2013 Grants Challenge

100 in 100: Skid Row Innovates!

PROBLEM :: First-come, first-served. That is how many homeless services are given out. Who can blame them? The lines are unending, and homeless providers are busy. As a result, those with the greatest need for supports often get passed over or aren't even able to make it to the line. In a recent survey, 62% of the 532 individuals found and surveyed sleeping in Skid Row were found to have been on the streets for years and struggling with severe disability. IDEA :: Create real-time lists of those experiencing homelessness and real-time lists of housing resources so that the two lists can be matched quickly and effectively. This will: Help homeless providers do what they do best. Help our homeless neighbors access housing that fits. Turn the housing swap meet into a housing Match.com. TIMELINE :: Work with existing providers to develop a beta system in Skid Row within 100 days. Test it by housing 100 of the hardest-to-house in those 100 days. Work at refining it for eventual County-wide use in the following 100 days. IMPACT :: This will dramatically reduce homelessness for the most vulnerable, reduce unit vacancies, and reduce unit costs by more efficiently matching the supply and demand of housing. In short, this is the system we need to end homelessness in Los Angeles. (*More benefits listed in project benefit section)


What are some of your organization’s most important achievements to date?

Two years ago, United Way worked with the Business Leaders Task Force to launch Home For Good, an action plan to end chronic and veteran homelessness by 2016. Given our strong homeless partners, instead of administering homeless services, we focused on improving the homeless systems that hamper the work of our partners. We have seen tremendous results in our work together over these past two years:

• Leadership: Over 125 leaders from a broad cross-section of nonprofit, public, and philanthropic organizations, including the Mayor of LA and all 5 of our County Supervisors, signed onto the Home For Good plan.

• Funding: $5 million from 16 private funders was leveraged to secure $100 million from 7 public funders, creating the first ever Funders Collaborative for permanent supportive housing in LA County.

• Awareness: Over 20,000 volunteers have participated in HomeWalk, an annual 5k to end homelessness.

• Systems Change: The time it takes for a homeless veteran to move from the street into a home was reduced by 2 months.

• Housing: Well over 5,000 chronically homeless persons as well as an additional 2,000 homeless veterans were permanently housed.

We are also proud to work with the Rapid Results Institute (RRI) and their 100-day model. RRI uses a model that challenges communities to quickly and collaboratively design complex systems and create lasting systems change within 100 days.

RRI has worked globally to use the catalysts of network support, a time-limited process, clear goals and the expertise of line staff to engineer remarkable results. Those successes (all in 100 days) include:

• Reducing the days required for placing housing homeless vets in Detroit from 143 days to 34 days (76% decrease) in collaboration with the 100k Homes Campaign

• Reducing operating costs for CALPERS (CA public pension) by $99.6 million (annualized)

• Getting 15,400 people in Sierra Leone tested for HIV in 100 days, compared to 1,000 in the previous 3 years

Here in the US and in LA, they also work closely with Community Solutions' 100K Homes Campaign to transform homeless service systems.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

We are proud to work with all the partners necessary for this great task with the addedguidance of Community Solutions/100K Homes, Rapid Results Institute, and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

DESIGN TEAM: LA Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), Housing Authority of the City of LA (HACLA), LA County Depart. of Mental Health (DMH), Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), LA County Dept. of Health Services (DHS), US Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA)

WORK TEAMS: DMH, Downtown Women's Center, Exodus Recovery, HACLA, Homeless Health Care LA, LAMP Community, LA Christian Health Centers, Los Angeles Mission, LAHSA, Midnight Mission, Skid Row Housing Trust, SRO Housing Corporation, SHARE!, St. Vincent DePaul, Weingart Center Association, VA

Please explain how you will evaluate your project. How will you measure success?

Success will mean we quickly and easily move people from streets to housing.

In order to get there, we will track these primary indicators during our first 100-day beta test:

* Number of homeless persons housed

* Number of days between a person being identified on the streets and given his/her keys

* Number of chronically homeless persons filling out housing applications

* Number of units/vouchers dedicated to this housing system

* Number of persons matched through this system

To test this beta system, we are aiming for 100 chronically homeless adults from the Skid Row community to be matched and housed during our beta phase.

How will your project benefit Los Angeles?

SHORT-TERM IMPACT :: New York's Times Square ended homelessness by starting with the anchors and strategically providing housing for them. In this beta test, we will be housing 100 persons from Skid Row who have been homeless for years, many for 10 years+.

LONG-TERM IMPACT :: The real impact, though, will come from taking this system of matching and applying it County-wide. This will result in:

* Light in the Tunnel: This system will allow our homeless providers to work effectively at ending homelessness. If you can imagine having to book a flight without Expedia, that is effectively what it feels like for case managers to try to find housing for their clients today.

* Cost Savings: Chronically homeless Angelenos consume 75% of the $875 million in public resources that go toward homelessness. Local studies have shown that being able to offer them permanent supportive housing in a more strategic and targeted way will cost us 40% less.

* Lower Vacancies: Having a real-time list of housing and homeless persons desiring housing will ensure that our valuable housing resources don’t sit unoccupied for a second longer than necessary.

* Housing Resources: The promise of such systems, in terms of reduced costs, improved targeting and enhanced outcomes, is so dramatic that HUD has asked all communities to create and implement these systems. HUD is more likely to offer housing resources to communities with such systems infusing more capital for housing into our region.

* Civic Pride: Shedding the label of being the homeless capital will allow others to see the other valuable assets Los Angeles has to offer the world.

What would success look like in the year 2050 regarding your indicator?

Success for us would mean that in 2050, everyone in Los Angeles has a home.

It would also mean that should anyone become homeless for a brief period, there are the systems in place to help that person quickly back on their feet

No more Skid Rows.