2022 Grants Challenge

South LA "WIN" Direct Outreach

The South LA WIN Direct Outreach test pilot, launched in Fall 2021, is a place-based outreach program designed to introduce the free WIN What I Need mobile app to this high need, largely Spanish-speaking community. We will expand from 1 to 4 outreach staff and will prioritize hiring SLA youth and residents with lived experience with resource insecurity. Staff will be trained to introduce WIN to the SLA community at-large and teach resource-insecure/homeless residents how to use WIN to find housing and other free supportive services.


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?

South LA

County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Pilot or new project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

Los Angeles Homeless Services Agency (LAHSA) reported in January 2020 that 63,706 people were experiencing homelessness in LA County, a 13% increase over 2019. 36% were Hispanic. Seniors and youth are two of the fastest growing homeless demographics. In 2020, 2/3 of the unsheltered adults experiencing homelessness were homeless for the first time, and 59% of them cited economic hardship as the cause. Economic precarity is a driver of homelessness; an average of 207 people exit homelessness daily—while 227 people become homeless. 20% of the county's homeless individuals live in South LA, and it has one of the highest concentrations of poverty. 76% of SLA residents are Hispanic. OCLA’s WIN What I Need mobile app directly serves and empowers LA County's homeless and housing-insecure individuals/families to easily find and connect to supportive services. The SLA Outreach Project is designed to build trust, and raise awareness about WIN within this high-need Hispanic community.

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

South LA WIN Direct Outreach is a door-to-door outreach program designed to introduce the free, confidential, easy-to-use WIN What I Need mobile app to this largely Spanish-speaking community and teach them how to use WIN to find help when they need it. WIN breaks the information barriers that often prevent those who are struggling to learn about the availability of helpful services. Historically many in SLA have been distrustful of outside social/government services. WIN, designed with the input of LA's homeless individuals, is a trusted app available to use in English and Spanish. Usage is anonymous; no one signs in to use WIN. But most SLA homeless/housing-insecure individuals are unaware of WIN. We plan to expand the SLA WIN Direct Outreach test pilot to employ 3 more SLA residents (prioritizing youth and/or those with lived experience of resource insecurity or homelessness) to raise awareness in the community. Staff will attend local meetings/fairs/events, offer presentations, promote WIN at churches, schools and local businesses, and outreach door-to-door. Currently, we have 1 P/T person covering the region which has an estimated13,000 homeless individuals (and many more struggling to avoid homelessness). Expanding to 4 local team members will build community trust and enable many more residents to learn about how WIN can help them search for and connect to essential services. SLA residents in need of helpful services will know they can Begin with WIN.

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

We envision an SLA where no one is struggling or homeless simply because they do not know how to find help. LA County's social services system is robust but not always easy to navigate. Leveraging the Federal Lifeline Program (which offers people who are homeless or impoverished access to free smart phones), WIN provides access to free resources from the palm of the hand. Designed with the input of LA homeless youth and adults to help anyone who is struggling; WIN can only help those who know about it. This Program will introduce WIN to Residents who will learn that WIN can empower them to locate available resources in 12 categories of services. They will benefit from WIN Alerts about local community fairs, jobs and more. They will trust WIN knowing that their usage is anonymous. Impact will be defined by community surveys, usage data (ex:# of searches for SLA services) and community endorsements. This program may serve as a model for future countywide outreach.

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

The early stage test pilot began in the Fall of 2021 and employs 1 part-time outreach worker. SLA is 8.6 square miles and contains over 161,275 residents. We initiated the SLA test pilot to test how direct outreach within SLA could increase trust and awareness about WIN. Invitations to attend local fairs/events, and food distributions have increased and we are beginning to form new relationships with churches and nonprofits to help us to spread the word about WIN. Expansion of the pilot to 4 outreach staff will allow us to deepen community awareness about WIN. Success will be defined by a pre-post comparison of: the number of community engagement events, presentation opportunities, and new community-based partnerships formed to help us spread the word about WIN. Staff will report the number of daily outreach contacts. Using WIN analytics, anonymous aggregated data on number of resource searches originating in SLA will also be collected.

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

Direct Impact: 2,000

Indirect Impact: 6,000