Home For Good Task Force Responds to LA County Homeless Count

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In response to Monday’s release of the 2011 Los Angeles County Homeless count by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and the cities of Long Beach, Pasadena & Glendale, the Los Angeles Business Leaders Task Force on Homelessness has issued the following statement:

The 2011 L.A. County Homeless Count of homeless individuals contains numbers which are virtually identical to those of two years ago. The current census, conducted a month after the Business Leaders Task Force launched Home For Good, demonstrates emphatically that it is time to shift our resources and our resolve to a system which does not tolerate 51,000 homeless year in and year out.

The combined figures (LAHSA’s figures and those in Long Beach, Glendale and Pasadena) suggest that Los Angeles’ homeless population has remained static. Some 12,000 chronic homeless individuals and 6,600 newly homeless veterans continue to try to exist on our streets; tens of thousands of others are without a permanent home as well.

The current economic climate can be expected to generate still greater pressure on the public and nonprofit agencies which serve the homeless population. Indeed, the combination of on-going economic pressures and a rise in the number of veterans returning from service in the near future might well lead to an increase in homelessness unless the policies and procedures contained in Home For Good are implemented as rapidly as possible.

Home For Good is a cooperative, coordinated multi-agency, multi-city campaign which maximizes resources by focusing them on those most in need. Home For Good is helping to develop a reliable and expanded stock of permanent supportive housing, identify and assist homeless individuals far more efficiently than ever before and generate a database which is both uniform and reliable.

In the months since the LAHSA count was completed, Home For Good has made significant strides forward. The Task Force has convened the first of several inter-agency summits which enabled leaders in both the public and nonprofit sectors to share best practices, coordinate their efforts and establish shared priorities. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors had voted to direct its considerable resources toward addressing the needs of chronic and veteran homeless, consistent with Home For Good’s plan. Los Angeles City agencies are working to direct their resources to our most vulnerable, chronically homeless individuals. The Veterans Administration is working with the Task Force to gain maximum benefit from vouchers which provide permanent supportive housing to homeless vets.

These recent developments suggest that Home For Good can and will be fully implemented and, as the result, Los Angeles can soon celebrate numbers which reflect a dramatic and welcome reduction in homelessness.

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