To combat and prevent homelessness, the County and its partners provide a range of integrated services that meet the needs of individuals and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Services are generally delivered through the coordinated entry systems (CES) for single adults, families, and youth, which prioritize the most vulnerable participants and match participants with appropriate resources.
The First Responder Training Program trains first responders throughout Los Angeles County, such as law enforcement, fire departments, and paramedics, in best practices for engaging with people experiencing homelessness and working collaboratively with homeless service providers.
In the first half of fiscal year 2018-2019, nearly 557 first responders, including Sheriff's Department members, law enforcement from other agencies, and non-law enforcement first responders, completed the training, joining the more than 1,700 who had already been trained.
The Expanded Jail In Reach Program (Strategy D2) provides enhanced outreach and support services to homeless inmates, assisting them in securing housing and accessing benefits upon their release.
Over the past 6 months, more than 750 individuals received jail in-reach services, helping to prevent homelessness upon release. This graph shows the range of services accessed through the expanded jail in reach program. Jail In Reach service providers have shifted their strategy since the last fiscal year, assessing fewer participants, but working more intensively with those receiving services.
A Fresh Start From Jail In Reach
The client is a 31-year old Hispanic male, who had been homeless for 15 years with no social support. He had been in and out of Juvenile Hall as a youth and had multiple incarcerations as an adult and a history of ADHD, PTSD, Bipolar disorder and methamphetamine use.
During his latest incarceration at Men’s Central Jail, he was provided with Project 180 services, which included a thorough assessment and a client-centered care plan that included arranged interim/bridge housing upon release.
Upon his release from jail in September 2018, the client was transported to the parole office and then to a Volunteers Of America shelter. At the shelter, he was connected with employment services and mental health and substance abuse treatment, and was provided clothing and weekly bus passes to seek additional community resources. Additionally, his case manager assisted the client with obtaining his California I.D. and public benefits.
As a result of this assistance, the client obtained employment in September through a training program and is now a permanent full-time employee. He has moved from the VOA shelter to Victory Starts First, a sober living unit in South Los Angeles. The client continues to go to substance use and mental health treatment on a weekly basis and has been clean since being released from jail.
“I’ve never heard of a program that assists people like me. I recommend this to any inmates in L.A. county jail that are serious about recovery and one more chance. Project 180 will be there for you.”