Capacity Building Continuum of Care Coordinated Entry System FileShare Funding HMIS Homeless Count Resource Management System Housing Extension LA-HOP MyOrg People New Policy Veterans By NameAll Apps
LAHSA Logo
March 16, 2020 | 2,838 total views

LAHSA Begins Phased Telecommuting

To enhance employee safety, non-essential employees will begin working from home this week. Outreach workers will continue operating in the field.

Los Angeles, CA – Today, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) announced a phased implementation of its Telecommuting Plan. Beginning today, non-essential employees who can perform their job functions remotely have the option to work from home. LAHSA aims to protect its employees from COVID-19 by limiting its employees’ exposure to the close quarters and large gatherings that are inherent in working in an office building, as well as limiting daily commutes.

“The safety of our employees is of the utmost importance,” said Heidi Marston, Interim Executive Director of LAHSA. “While a number of the LAHSA team members will be telecommuting, we have coordinated staffing so that the homeless services system will continue to serve our clients.”

Essential employees will be at the work-site to ensure the continued functioning of the homeless services system. Essential Employees have been encouraged to practice social distancing and to cancel in-person meetings when possible. LAHSA has classified the following groups as essential:

  • Executive Leadership
  • All Management
  • Outreach Teams
  • Human Resources (HR)
  • Information Technology (IT)

Essential employees over the age of 60 who are immune-compromised, with underlying respiratory issues, or with serious chronic medical conditions (like heart disease, diabetes, lung disease) are also eligible to telecommute.
LAHSA’s outreach teams will continue their operations. To date, LAHSA’s outreach teams have received comprehensive training on the best practices to keep themselves safe and to ensure that the people they encounter with flu-like symptoms receive the right medical care. LAHSA is also continuing to procure additional sanitation equipment for its outreach teams, including masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer.

While there has not been a reported case of Coronavirus among people experiencing homelessness, LAHSA continues to work closely with Los Angeles County Health Department, Los Angeles Mayor’s Office, and the Los Angeles City Council to ensure the safety of our unhoused neighbors. This includes providing people with hygiene resources, hand sanitizer, and education on how to keep themselves safe. Additionally, we are instructing our outreach teams and our provider network on best practices for working with people who may have contracted the virus, and we’re equipping staff with additional sanitation equipment to keep themselves and our clients safe.

Other measures LAHSA has taken to address COVID-19:

  • Supporting the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office, County Board of Supervisors, and City Council Members who are leading efforts that:
    • Increase mobile hygiene accessibility to people living outdoors
    • Identifying spaces as potential quarantine sites should they be needed
  •  LAHSA is in close coordination with the County Emergency Operation Center to ensure homelessness expertise is informing our system’s response
  • LAHSA is co-located and working hand-in-hand with the Unified Homeless Response Center within the City of Los Angeles
  • Our outreach teams have received comprehensive training on best practice to keep themselves safe and to ensure that people they encounter with flu-like symptoms get the right medical care. The Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department and shelter providers have also utilized this training
  • LAHSA is procuring additional sanitation equipment for our outreach teams including masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer
  • We’ve notified our employees, partners, and providers about best practices to prevent and prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak
  • LAHSA has worked with its partners at the Department of Health Services to develop and administer training specifically shelter providers
  • County Department of Health Services and Department of Public Health clinicians and LAHSA  staff will be meeting with teams weekly to discuss approaches and support
  • LA-HOP is now updated to include information on COVID-19 and directions of where to go for resources

LAHSA’s response to COVID-19 follows lessons learned by homelessness advocates in Toronto following the 2003 SARS outbreak and validated by subsequent scientific research. Just as no one experiencing homelessness has been diagnosed with the novel Coronavirus, no one experiencing homelessness in Toronto was ever diagnosed with SARS.  As detailed in a scientific paper published by the National Institutes of Health, the four most important areas of focus are communication, infection control, isolation and quarantine, and resource allocation, all of which have been prioritized by LAHSA.

LAHSA will continue to update resources and information on its website as the situation continues to unfold.

Related

2020 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count Results
LAHSA Releases Covid-19 Recovery Plan
2019 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count Results
Groundbreaking Report On Black People And Homelessness Released
Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count Shows 12% Rise In Homelessness