By Dara Papel
Using housing as a stable platform from which our most vulnerable people can access services to improve their lives, CSH forms local partnerships that maximize impact and public resources to build healthy communities.
Our efforts in Los Angeles have demonstrated that by working across a range of public sectors and systems, we can reduce barriers and increase opportunities for disadvantaged individuals and families experiencing homelessness in all of L.A. County’s Service Planning Areas (SPAs).
CSH is addressing workforce development because we recognize successfully transitioning our neighbors out of homelessness and poverty is intrinsically tied to maintaining and increasing their incomes.
With leadership from Los Angeles County’s Homeless Initiative, CSH is facilitating connections between workforce, social services, and homeless systems to expand meaningful employment opportunities among individuals experiencing homelessness. The hub of this collaboration is the Employment and Homelessness Taskforce comprised of key staff members from the County departments: CEO’s Homeless Initiative (HI), Workforce Development, Aging, and Community Services (WDACS), Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). The Taskforce is creating a set of recommendations to increase efficiencies and align these systems and services. CSH has engaged a number of different community stakeholders as part of this initiative to inform the process, refine existing strategies, and identify new ones that reduce barriers for homeless job seekers to access mainstream employment and supports.
CSH is addressing workforce development in the homeless services and supportive housing sectors by changing the trajectory of hiring practices. CSH has launched Healthcare Employment Advanced Ladder (HEAL), a program designed to train individuals with lived experience of homelessness and residents of supportive housing to become employed in peer-employment positions like Community Health Worker, Housing Navigator, and Peer Specialist.
With support from CSH, Housing Works is leading HEAL and is helping to place 25 trainees in intern positions at the end of their training in January 2019. The ultimate goal is to see the HEAL interns become fully employed in the healthcare, homeless services, and supportive housing fields.
The nonprofit agencies partnering to bring on trained HEAL interns are Alexandria House, Homeless Health Care Los Angeles, SHARE!, The Center in Hollywood at Blessed Sacrament, Housing Works, Union Station Homeless Services, Hollywood Community Housing Corporation.
The next round of HEAL training applications are due to be released in early 2019, and if you have questions or would like to host a HEAL intern, please feel free to reach out to Sergio Perez (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Ipolani Duvauchelle (email@example.com).
There are many open positions in the homeless services and supportive housing sectors, and we are focused on expanding our talent pool at the service provision and supervisory levels.
To meet this need, CSH also launched a Master of Social Work (MSW) Homeless Services and Supportive Housing Provider Internship Placement Program, placing MSW student from area universities with local partners to draw students into the homeless services sector while enhancing their understanding of supportive housing.
CSH is hosting monthly trainings for the interns to supplement their classroom and field-placement learning with homeless service-specific content. Currently, there are 15 students, 6 universities and 8 service providers participating in this program. Our first training included CSH Speak Up! Advocates who shared their personal stories of homelessness, the role supportive housing has played in changing their lives, and the importance of Social Workers in their journeys.
- The participating universities in the Internship Program are Azusa Pacific University, Cal. State University Dominguez Hills, Cal. State University Los Angeles, Cal. State University Long Beach, Cal. State University Northridge, and the University of Southern California.
- The organizations hosting interns are: Century Villages at Cabrillo, David & Margaret Youth and Family Services, Harbor Interfaith Services, Helpline Youth Counseling, Kingdom Causes, Bellflower, St. Margaret’s Center – Catholic Charities, Union Station Homeless Services, and Whittier First Day Coalition
To read more about our MSW Homeless Services and Supportive Housing Internship Placement Program, visit CSH’s Homefront newsletter:
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