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December 02, 2019

Media Contacts:
Ahmad Chapman, Los Angeles Homeless Services Agency, (213) 225-8491, (213) 247-5726 (c), achapman@lahsa.org

Peter Lynn Steps Down as Executive Director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority

Los Angeles, CA—The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Commission (LAHSA) announced today Executive Director Peter Lynn will step down, effective December 31, 2019. Heidi Marston, LAHSA’s Chief Program Officer, will serve as Acting Executive Director.

“It has been a tremendous privilege to lead this organization over the past five years,” said Peter Lynn. “I believe that LAHSA is stronger than it has ever been, and I have complete confidence in our management team and our Chief Program Officer’s ability to lead the organization during this transition. Los Angeles has a serious challenge ahead in addressing our region’s homelessness crisis. It will take the combined efforts and resources across all levels of government, but LAHSA has never been better positioned to bring our neighbors home.” 

Lynn leadership has made a lasting impact on LAHSA and the homeless services community by:

  • Successfully housing more than 80,000 people during Lynn’s time as Executive Director
  • LAHSA deployed unprecedented new funding to address homelessness and is recognized as a national leader in best practices and system design
  • LAHSA led in doubling the number of housing placements in four years
  • LAHSA played a key role in the development of the City and County Homeless Strategies adopted in 2016 and informed the public of the resources needed by creating LA’s first homeless housing gaps analysis
  • Worked diligently and successfully to reframe the basic narrative about homelessness to focus on the structural crisis of housing affordability and institutional racism instead of the personal challenges of individuals experiencing homelessness

“Peter’s leadership of LAHSA came at a time when Angelenos took historic action and made generational investments in confronting the homelessness crisis. He served for five years, with dedication, in one of the toughest jobs — and I thank him for all he did to bring more resources to our most vulnerable neighbors. I wish him success in his future pursuits and am confident that his successor will continue our work to help homeless Angelenos get the housing and services they desperately need,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

With LAHSA being a joint powers authority between the City and County of LA, Lynn worked closely with both City and County partners to create the region’s first integrated homeless strategies. After the passage of Measure H, LAHSA was charged to implement the majority of the new homelessness programming. 

While rapidly expanding, LAHSA undertook many initiatives under Lynn’s leadership to expand the effectiveness of Los Angeles’ work to address homelessness. The agency took over the implementation of Los Angeles’ Coordinated Entry System, began annual full-county homeless counts, created advisory boards to LAHSA for people with lived experience of homelessness, and greatly expanded the opportunities for small community-based organizations previously unable to compete for public contracts. Lynn is a problem-solver, widely known for his commitment to direct service and advocacy.

“We want to thank Peter for his five years of selfless service. Peter led an unprecedented expansion of services and doubled the number of housing placements in four years,” said Sarah Dusseault, LAHSA Commission Chair. “Going forward, the Commission will conduct a national search for a new Executive Director, although the right person may be local. We are in pursuit of a leader with a burning sense of urgency and a strong personal connection with the people we serve. We seek a leader who can deeply collaborate with our policymakers, public agencies and non-profit partners to accelerate our collective work to save lives, address structural racism and combat the effects of the lack of affordable housing.”

The LAHSA Commission will start a national search for a new Executive Director. Until a new Executive Director is selected, Heidi Marston will serve as Acting Executive Director. Marston currently serves as LAHSA’s Chief Program Officer and has a demonstrated expertise in government administration and the ability to drive collaboration. Marston has more than two years of Federal Service at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs serving in several roles, including Director of Community Engagement and Reintegration Services and Special Assistant to the VA Secretary. She has been with LAHSA since February 2019.

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