LA2050 Grants Challenge applications are open now through June 28th, 2024.
2023 Grants Challenge

Mental Health & Housing

This grant would support the Alcott Center in providing mental health, housing, and justice-involved re-entry services to un/under-served community members throughout Los Angeles County.


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?

County of Los Angeles

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

Applying a proven model or solution to a new issue or sector (e.g., using a job recruiting software or strategy to match clients to supportive housing sites, applying demonstrated strategies from advocating for college affordability to advocating for housing affordability and homelessness, etc.)

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

There is not just one reason for houselessness or one solution, but Alcott has found a niche at the intersection of mental health, housing, and justice-involved re-entry. The correlation between mental health and houselessness is particularly evident, as many individuals experiencing homelessness often grapple with mental health. The lack of affordable housing and limited access to mental health services exacerbate these challenges. Consequently, individuals struggling may resort to survival activities, increasing their risk of incarceration. Once incarcerated, individuals with mental health conditions face further difficulties, as correctional facilities often lack adequate mental health resources and rehabilitation programs. Consequently, upon release, individuals are more likely to face challenges in reintegrating into society, increasing the likelihood of homelessness and perpetuating the cycle. This interconnectedness highlights the urgent need for comprehensive strategies.

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

Currently, Alcott is 90% publicly funding, but public contracts do not typically pay for the full cost of providing services given the fact that in many cases they do not permit paying staff members providing direct services a livable wage & can be restrictive in terms of resources that are offered to program participants. This funding would enable Alcott to expand programs to be able to offer interventions that could make the difference in stabilizing program participants or not and better retention amongst staff. Funding diversity would give Alcott the capacity to provide more effective outreach, pay for sweat equity, provide living wages for all staff (some of which are housing insecure themselves), & build the needed infrastructure to maintain these efforts. The Alcott Center has expanded rapidly over the last five years due to strategic initiatives and at the request of the County of Los Angeles to expand services under particular contracts largely due to our dedication & performance. Alcott has grown to meet that need on the program side, but administrative infrastructure and the capacity to diversify private funding have not grown at the same rate. This funding would be instrumental in building the infrastructure needed to maintain this level of growth that is extraordinarily meeting basic needs for thousands of Angelenos and aims to continue to do so for decades to come until hopefully, one day, there is not as much of a need for our housing & mental health services.

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

COVID exacerbated the need for mental health and housing services in addition to changing the service landscape for providers. We continue to face challenges with the timeline people face for accessing mental health care throughout our service landscape, the lack of affordable housing, and stigma around accessing mental health services in diverse communities. Alcott anticipates continuing to expand services by exponentially growing the number of community members provided field-based supportive housing services and establishing an unarmed crisis response model that will be able to respond in place of armed law enforcement in order to have mental health professionals deescalate crises. With the strengthening of services provided at the intersection of mental health, supportive housing, and justice-involved re-entry, LA County would look vastly different because there would be more individuals who are able to get the support they need before their challenges become more extensive.

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 most important measures of impact for Alcott's programs are the number of clients who are provided mental health & housing services, as well as, the retention rate of clients staying permanently housed, the retention rate of clients avoiding incarceration, the percentage of residents who are moving from temporary housing to permanent housing and the attendance rate for therapy appointments. At least 90% of clients who have been permanently housed through our program continue to be permanently housed over the course of a year with the continuous development of our innovative trauma-informed wrap-around services. Over 80% of Alcott clients assisted with our housing services move from temporary to permanent housing over the course of a year. Lastly, over 85% of clients being supported with justice-involved re-entry services will not return to incarceration. The results of these outcomes are often assessed through surveys and the results from other funder's audits.

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

Direct Impact: 1,600

Indirect Impact: