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August 01, 2023 | September 15, 2023 | 4,639 total views

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
 
Contact: Christopher Yee, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority: cyee@lasha.org   

LA’s Homeless Crisis Response System Gets a Boost During LAHSA CEO’s First 100 Days  

Dr. Va Lecia Adams Kellum announces the new Welcome Navigation Center, the bullet train to permanent housing. 

Today, Dr. Va Lecia Adams Kellum, Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), announced several significant improvements to the Los Angeles area’s rehousing system during her first 100 days at the agency.  

“When I became CEO at LAHSA in late March, the first thing I noticed was they had the right goal – reduce unsheltered homelessness – and a dedicated workforce that successfully housed thousands of people every year,” said Dr. Adams Kellum. “But LAHSA was trying to move in too many directions at once and missing the clear opportunity in front of it. I knew that I needed to direct LAHSA’s tremendous talents to make a real impact on this humanitarian crisis.” 

Last year, LAHSA announced an internal reorganization that would drive the rehousing system’s strategic vision of reducing unsheltered homelessness. During her first 100 days, Dr. Adams Kellum reimagined and narrowed the agency’s focus around five key strategic areas of focus: 

  1. Addressing the Emergency 

  2. Improving Rehousing System Efficiency 

  3. LAHSA’s Purpose, Accountability, and Transparency 

  4. Contracting and Grant Management  

  5. Equity 

“What I’ve brought to LAHSA is a renewed focus on key areas that will significantly improve our ability to address unsheltered homelessness,” continued Dr. Adams Kellum. “When our system is focused, it makes an impact. We saw veteran homelessness numbers drop when we focused on solving the problems that left them languishing on our streets. We will do the same for our unsheltered neighbors by focusing on these key areas. Our system will increase the number of people coming inside and end homelessness permanently for more people.” 

During Dr. Adams Kellum’s time as CEO, LAHSA has accomplished many of her early goals, including:  

  • Serving as a critical partner in Mayor Bass’ Inside Safe program by directly supporting contracting that sheltered over 1,300 people from 19 encampments during the Mayor’s first six months in office. 

  • Collaborating with CEO/Homeless Initiative and Board of Supervisors to launch County’s response to State of Emergency, including the County’s encampment resolution plan, Pathway Home. 

  • Launched LAHSA’s new Multi-Departmental Crisis Response Team.  

  • LAHSA’s reimagined Winter Shelter Program – which relied on motel vouchers rather than augmented congregate sites – served six times more people than the previous winter.  

  • Housing fairs were held for nearly 500 Inside Safe participants. 

  • Decreased the time to lease up permanent supportive housing by 75%, from 120 days to 30 days. 

  • Provide a biweekly report to City and County Officials on the system’s performance moving people from interim to permanent housing.  

  • LAHSA streamlined and expedited its contracting process. Executed 80% of new and renewal service provider contracts for fiscal year 2023- 2024 by June 30th.  

  • Implemented innovative process of utilizing long-term flexible resources as working capital funds to expedite payment to providers. 

  • To counteract the effects of years of systemic racism, LAHSA created the Ad-Hoc Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The Committee will dive deeper into the causes of homelessness for various subpopulations and develop equitable practices to end homelessness for our unsheltered neighbors of color.  

  • Click here for more information about LAHSA’s accomplishments during Dr. Adams Kellum’s first 100 days. 

Dr. Adams Kellum capped her 100 days accomplishments by announcing LAHSA’s new Welcome Navigation Center. This 24,000 sq. ft. facility will pilot a new interim housing design to move people experiencing homelessness (PEH) from tents to interim housing, and onward to permanent housing, with 24/7 site accessibility.  

The Welcome Navigation Center will provide 41 rooms, with about 84 participants at any given time. During their time at the Center, LAHSA will assist participants with document readiness and expedite housing navigation services that will move them from interim to permanent housing faster. In addition, participants will have daily opportunities to tour available permanent housing and participate in weekly onsite housing fairs that will provide transportation to view available units. 

The participants will come from the streets and are eligible to stay in the navigation center for 30 days. While at the Center, participants will receive three healthy meals daily, and receive case management through Resident Advocates. This site will be accessible 24/7 by outreach teams to bring people indoors around the clock. There will also be an opportunity for on-site partnerships, creating a one-stop shop for resources with both City and County services. LAHSA will bring local service providers, community-based agencies, and the faith community along with County partners, such as Department of Mental Health (DMH), Department of Health Services (DHS), Department of Public Housing (DPH) and substance use disorder (SUD) care.  

“We want our new Welcome Navigation Center to be the bullet train to permanent housing,” said Dr. Adams Kellum. “This facility can potentially house our unhoused neighbors at an unprecedented rate. To speed up the path to permanent housing, we are working with the City, County, and State to bring programmatic services to our participants to ensure they are healthy and ready to sustain their new homes permanently.” 

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