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October 16, 2023 | October 17, 2023 | 3,027 total views

Los Angeles is one of four cities selected for GPL’s new Homelessness Prevention & Rehousing Accelerator 

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) is working with a new initiative of the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab (GPL), the Homelessness Prevention & Rehousing Accelerator, to work on system improvements that will prevent individuals from becoming homeless and to improve the rehousing process, and to research Latino homelessness in order to develop strategies based on increases we’ve seen in this population. 

The initiative, which launched May 1, is providing technical assistance to four jurisdictions, including Los Angeles, in the following areas: 

  • Streamlining the permanent supportive housing process to address the length of time individuals are homeless, improve the client experience, and increase program financial sustainability. 

  • Connecting individuals in state prisons to housing services pre-release to reduce the likelihood of future homelessness and address racial inequities in the homelessness response system. 

  • Establishing a comprehensive, coordinated, and strategic upstream homelessness prevention system to connect unstably housed individuals to appropriate supports, including legal defense for eviction cases. 

  • For Los Angeles: Addressing racial equity by researching recent increases in Latino homelessness and working with program staff on service delivery improvements designed specifically for this population. 

For LAHSA, the collaboration with the Homelessness Prevention & Rehousing Accelerator represents an opportunity to develop new, novel strategies to resolve homelessness for more Angelenos.  

“We are excited to work with the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab’s Homelessness Prevention & Rehousing Accelerator,” said LAHSA CEO Va Lecia Adams Kellum. “Latino homelessness rose nearly 26% based on our 2022 point-in-time count. Gaining a better understanding of the reasons behind this increase and the specific barriers that Latinos face will allow us to create a more equitable system and bring us closer to solving homelessness in Los Angeles.” 

Jurisdictions across the country have expressed need for help designing, testing, and scaling innovations related to homelessness, and the Accelerator intends to provide that help, said GPL Director of Homelessness and Housing Carin Clary.  

“Jurisdictions know that to sustainably reduce homelessness, they need both a comprehensive prevention strategy to curb inflow and bold approaches to reimagine the rehousing process,” Clary said. “Cities and states of all sizes are asking how to better coordinate housing assistance within the community and how to make the subsidized housing process faster, smoother, and more effective for both households and housing partners.” 

As part of this collaboration, LAHSA will receive 12 months of intensive applied research and technical assistance from the GPL. This includes tailored support for agency staff, exposure to relevant models from other jurisdictions, and facilitated workshops and training on core GPL public management tools related to data-driven performance management, procurement design, service arrays, and referral pathways. 

LAHSA was one of four jurisdictions selected by the GPL based on the potential for direct impact, particularly for BIPOC communities, its vision for innovative solutions, the commitment of staff and leadership, and the potential for valuable generalizable learnings to emerge from the project. 

“This is a crucial time for Los Angeles,” Dr. Adams Kellum said. “We need everyone linking arms and working together to address this crisis.”