2022 Grants Challenge

Housed, Healthy & Whole

The Center is a nonprofit agency that ends isolation and homelessness through radical hospitality. It’s an inclusive space for anyone experiencing homelessness to feel welcome, feel safe, and receive services. We connect people to community, healthcare, and housing. We are seeking funding to expand our on-site Community Wellness Clinic, because low-barrier housing and healthcare services are the first line of defense against generational poverty and homelessness in Los Angeles.


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?

Central LA

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?

The issue we are seeking to address is a lack of access to healthcare for people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. It is virtually impossible for a person in poor physical health living on the street to exit the cycle of poverty without an outside intervention. Providing easy access to robust physical and behavioral healthcare in a supportive environment is imperative to ending the homelessness crisis.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

The Center is seeking funds to expand the on-site Community Wellness Clinic team in an effort to make access to healthcare more equitable, available, and comprehensive for people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. The Community Wellness Clinic opened its doors In 2019, in partnership with Saban Community Clinic, and serves as a safe and extremely low-barrier referral point for emergency and primary healthcare needs for people experiencing homelessness. More than 50% of our participants identify as people of color, 14% identify as transgender, and over 65% are Chronically homeless, meaning they have lived on the streets for a year or more. Often, those who have sought medical care at The Center’s on-site Community Wellness Clinic have not sought primary care for years, sometimes decades. The Community Wellness Clinic is beginning its third full year of operation, and as we move out of the chaos that was the pandemic, we are dedicated to reinvesting time and energy into reimagining and improving healthcare delivery for our city's unhoused residents.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Homelessness is arguably the leading crisis facing Los Angeles today. On any given night, there are 48,000 people living on the street and another 18,000 staying in congregate shelter facilities. Even more concerning is that these numbers are up by 13% from 2019 homeless count data. If this trend continues, by 2050 there will be upwards of 325,000 individuals experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. The Center's vision is that there will be less than 5,000 people experiencing health crises and homelessness in Los Angeles county by 2050. In the long-term, The Center aims to meet this goal by sustainably scaling-up our unique programming model so that the healthcare and housing success that our clients enjoy can be experienced exponentially throughout Los Angeles. In the short-term, The Center plans to expand the on-site Community Wellness Clinic to help unhoused clients move towards holistic health and permanent housing to get people off the streets for good.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

While there are thousands of agencies dedicated to homelessness in L.A, The Center utilizes a radically different approach to solve the problem. The Community Wellness Clinic gets results by focusing on relationship rather than transactional interactions. Daily groups provide the unhoused a safe place to re-engage with society, and extremely low-barrier practices allow folks to obtain healthcare without ID cards, signing in, giving their name, or even having to be inside the building (clinicians will meet clients on the curb if requested). By reconnecting to healthcare and community, folks are more able to pursue permanent housing. In terms of measuring success for this project, we will track the rate of initial appointment and follow-up appointment attendance for clients, number of clients that move in to permanent housing, number of partnerships with outside agencies, and how many new, innovative methods of health care delivery are created and implemented.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 6,240

Indirect Impact: 3,628,744