Homelessness Prevention and Outreach (HPO)
Our Homeless Prevention and Outreach Program (HPO) distributes food on a weekly basis to low-income families, sack lunches to the unhoused, and emergency food for those in need. HPO also provides replacement clothing, problem-solving assistance, and a mail service to the homeless as well as personal care products, furniture and small appliances, social services referrals, and health care outreach to both constituents. The program meets the immediate needs of the unhoused and prevents low-income families from slipping into homelessness.
What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?
Housing and Homelessness
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?
Expand existing project, program, or initiative
What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?
Homelessness is a crisis: preventing additional homelessness & assisting the unhoused are urgent needs. The LA Homeless Service Authority cancelled the homeless count in 2021 because of Covid but reported a 12.7% increase in homelessness for LA County from 2019 to 2020 in June 2020. An estimated 82,955 people became homeless during 2019. Among the alarming increases among the homeless was the 20% increase in homeless persons over age 62. Homeless youth (under the age of 18 through age 24) in 2020 were more than 7,400 or 12% of the county's homeless population. These statistics do not include homelessness resulting from the pandemic layoffs & closed businesses, the current shortage of affordable housing, & ever-increasing housing prices. Complicating homelessness is that many suffer from mental health disorders such as schizophrenia, depression & substance abuse. We estimate that 85% of the homeless we serve have mental health issues & desperately need appropriate social services.
Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.
Established in 1982, HPO offers services to all those who come through our doors. HPO provides groceries to families each week & includes a home delivery service for the homebound plus an emergency food service for families who have not yet applied for the weekly program. Most families receive food every week which gives them a significant reduction in their food costs allowing them to pay rent to keep them safe & sheltered at home. HPO provides sack lunches to the homeless and personal care items such as diapers, wipes & blankets for babies & adult diapers, wipes, sanitary napkins, mattress pads, & bladder control products for adults. We have a mail service, replacement clothing, & problem-solving assistance such as replacing lost identification cards & help with benefits. HPO offers computer & internet support so that clients can use our equipment for job applications & correspondence with governmental and philanthropic organizations. For healthcare, we have conducted 6 Covid clinics with the LA County Health Dept. Benevolence Medical Center was our partner for medical exams & treatment, but no longer has the resources to help. We are working with WIN Los Angeles to set up services with them. HPO also refers clients to other agencies when needed. E.g., we refer people who suffer from mental disorders to local clinics. We also assist clients facing legal issues such as eviction. We inform renters of their obligations & rights and refer them to legal aid foundations.
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
Los Angeles County will be different because we also strive for LA2050’s vision that all families have access to fresh and healthy food, quality health care, and safe housing no matter where they live or how much money they make. Our work is successful when we can keep families in their homes by lowering their food expenses, by delivering food to the disabled who cannot go to the grocery stores themselves, and by meeting emergency food needs when necessary. We contribute to lowering the number of the unhoused by providing our computer and mail services as well as referring them to appropriate social services. We also assist with their health care needs with our partnership with the Los Angeles Health Department and developing onsite clinics with WIN Los Angeles.
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
We estimate that the HPO program serves 5,760 families annually. 15% of them are children and 35% are homeless. Food is distributed 6 days a week Monday – Saturday. The sack lunch program was stopped due to Covid but restarted in June. Since then, approximately 80 lunches were distributed. About 45 individuals attended the Covid clinics. The value of the assistance is immeasurable. For instance, Mr. Van’s small travel agency lost its business during the pandemic, and he needed food to feed his family of five. Josie, a senior with disabilities living on the street for 6 years found housing and food thanks to our food and social service outreach. Mike, bed ridden with much pain, benefits from our homebound food outreach. Mary, a kind & gentle woman, was unhoused, but found a job when we were able to give her the clothes required to meet the job requirements. Ben, also homeless from Tennessee, was able to obtain a California identification card to facilitate his job search.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
Direct Impact: 7,500
Indirect Impact: NaN