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Archive for April 2018

REPORT: How to Reduce Chronic Homelessness

Escape Routes: Meta-Analysis of Homelessness in L.A.

APRIL 24, 2018 / BY DANIEL FLAMING, PATRICK BURNS AND JANE CARLEN; LA Economic Roundtable
UNDERWRITER: THE CONRAD N. HILTON FOUNDATION

Information from 26 datasets with records of Los Angeles County’s homeless residents was used for a first-of-its-kind meta-analysis that identifies interventions for reducing chronic homelessness. Read the report here.

Almost 600,000 Los Angeles County residents are in poverty and spend 90 percent or more of their income on housing. Out of this large, precariously housed population, some people have short episodes of homelessness, and a much smaller number remain stuck in homelessness.

Increasing monthly exit rates from homelessness by 10 percent is projected to reduce the number of people who go on to become chronically homeless by half.

Individuals who have the least access to jobs have the greatest risk of homelessness. This is borne out by the hugely disproportionate rate of homelessness among African American residents. African-American men in their 40s and 50s are found 16 times more often in the homeless population than in L.A.’s overall population.

This disproportionate burden of homelessness begins in childhood. The rate of homelessness for African-American children is 13 times greater than the rate for European-American children.

This inequity needs to be addressed head-on.

By far the most frequently given reason for homelessness is unemployment or lack of cash aid, and consequently lack of money. A frequent compounding factor is breakdown of social connections. This includes family conflict, breakup, violence, and death.

Finding a job is very important for homeless young adults, parents with children, and individuals who have been homeless for three months or less. However, efforts to participate in the formal labor force are largely in the form of job seeking rather than job holding. The number of individuals looking for a job is four times greater than the number with a job.

Jobs and other early interventions must be parallel efforts that augment rather than divert resources from housing chronically homeless individuals. Greatly increasing the supply of permanently affordable housing continues to be crucial.

We recommend using predictive analytic screening tools to identify newly homeless individuals who are at high risk of chronic homelessness. And we recommend ongoing linkage of county and homeless service provider records to support this screening process.

The Economic Roundtable is developing two screening tools for vulnerable populations. One is for employable adults, the other is for foster youth at risk of chronic homelessness.

This research was funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Development of predictive analytic screening tools is being funded by the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation.

To read Report click here.

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The WIN app– Technology, Empowerment, Connections & Hope

Listen to Dr McCain’s speech about the WIN app- WIN is a free, easy to use mobile app developed by OCLA  that empowers homeless and nearly homeless youth and adults (and those who wish to help them) to find free helpful services.  – WIN is THE trusted app,  that connects  LA’s homeless and vulnerable populations to  services they can access just by walking in the door.  WIN is available in the Googleplay store and iTune store and on the ourchildrenla.org website.  (Acceptance speech at the 2017 Rotary Star humanitarian Award, Pasadena CA.)

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Hospitals Are Releasing Homeless Patients Back To The Streets. There’s A Better Way.

Recuperative care facilities offer a safer and ultimately cheaper alternative.

LOS ANGELES — Two years ago, Sherolyn Scott lost the apartment she had been living in for 16 years due to rising rent costs. She took the money from her security deposit and started sleeping in motels, but when that money was gone, she resorted to parks and porches.

Sleeping outdoors, unprotected, set off a cascade of medical emergencies, often the result of violence. Attackers raped Scott, she said, and as she was recovering from the assault, she suffered a stroke. Later, robbers beat her so viciously that she ended up with her jaw wired shut.

Each of these events sent Scott to the hospital, after which she was released back to a life on the streets.

It wasn’t until the third hospital visit that police, worried that those who assaulted and robbed Scott would return to hurt her again, suggested the hospital find somewhere for her to stay after discharge.

The hospital then referred Scott to a recuperative care facility ― a temporary shelter with nursing staff and social workers ― run by a local nonprofit, the National Health Foundation. She spent the next four months recovering and working with a housing program. At the end of her stay, she was able to move into her own apartment in South Los Angeles. Scott, now 60 years old, believes she wouldn’t be alive today if it hadn’t been for recuperative care.

“If they had sent me back to the streets one more time, I [would] be dead,” Scott said.  Read More

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April 25th is #TrueColorsDay!

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning (LGBTQ) young people are 120% more likely to experience homelessness than non-LGBTQ youth. While many factors contribute to LGBTQ youth homelessness, identity-based family rejection is the most commonly cited reason.

April 25th, 2018 is #TrueColorsDay (formerly known as #40toNoneDay), a national day to raise public awareness about LGBTQ youth homelessness, and to provide supporters with simple ways to make a difference. This year @TrueColorsFund is hosting a series of live conversations online! Click here or visit http://truecolorsfund.org/day/ to learn how you can make a difference.

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Homeless Women Say ‘Me Too,’ But No One Listens

HuffPost Mari Kate Mycek HuffPost13 March 2018

Like many women, I am heartened by the Me Too movement and the spotlight it has put on sexual assault and harassment. It makes me want to fight harder to tell the stories of those whose voices are still going unheard ― especially those of women experiencing homelessness.

As a sociologist who studies food insecurity, I regularly meet with women who don’t have homes. Many times, what starts off as a conversation about food turns into a conversation about something else. They want to talk about how unsafe they feel in the world. They tell me they won’t go to certain food providers because they believe they’ll get harassed there ― or they already have been harassed there.

Harassment and abuse aren’t part of the public conversation surrounding food insecurity. They aren’t part of the conversation surrounding homelessness. Yet from what I’ve been hearing and witnessing ― and from what the research shows ― homeless women aren’t safe no matter where they go.

I once watched a man verbally attack a woman outside an emergency food provider’s doors, yelling at her until she cried. People tried to step in, but the man continued to scream about how the woman shouldn’t be allowed to go inside because she was “already so fat ― do you really need this food?” This happened eight months ago. The woman told me she hasn’t been back to that meal provider since.

I don’t have to return if I decide not to. But where can these women go?

I spoke with another young woman who told me she won’t go to certain soup kitchens because she knows the men there will hit on her from the moment she walks in the door until the moment she leaves. She was living in her car at the time and told me she sometimes would rather eat a bag of chips for dinner than go someplace to get a free meal and deal with men harassing her.

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This Is Life On The Streets Of Hollywood When You’re Young, Queer And Homeless

by: By Julia Poe and Daniela Silva 04/14/2018

While struggling to find stability, homeless queer youth face an additional battle — one for their own identities.

LOS ANGELES ― On her first night without a home, Kaityanna Phillips cried herself to sleep on a sidewalk in front of a Shell gas station in north Hollywood.

She had arrived in Los Angeles on a one-way ticket from Texarkana, Texas, earlier that day. From the bus station in the heart of downtown L.A., she walked north for miles. At the edge of Hollywood, she forced herself to stop. Her feet were swollen. Her phone was dead. She was hungry and exhausted. Phillips was 20 years old and completely alone.

Phillips had started walking with one destination in sight ― the Los Angeles LGBT Youth Center. When she entered the building the next day and admired its rainbow mural, she instantly realized: “This is the only place for me here.”

The center is a haven for the LGBTQ youth who make up a disproportionate number of the young people experiencing homelessness in L.A. The center helps them confront challenges similar to those many other people in the streets face. Directors at the organization report that many of the youth experience depression, anxiety and other mental health concerns. They describe repeated rapes, assaults and other abuse.

But the center also helps them navigate an additional battle ― one for their own identity. While struggling to find stability, queer youth on the street are also struggling to carve out their own place in life. And as they fight to stay alive and stay true to themselves, the issues facing LGBTQ youth are quickly becoming one of the most complicated challenges in fighting homelessness in Los Angeles.

Phillips came to California in hopes of finding something better. Her community in Texas didn’t accept or understand her gender identity, and she didn’t feel safe or wanted in her hometown. So at the age of 20, though she had never left home before, Phillips left Texas for the promise of a better life in Los Angeles.

Three years after her move, she laughs recalling that first night on the street. “I thought I was going to die. For real, I thought that was it,” she said. “‘Lay me down, I’m gonna die, it’s over.’ And that was just the first night.”

Since then, she’s had more than a dozen “addresses” in tents on the sidewalks of Hollywood. The center remains the closest thing she has to a home.

“People see trans people as a disgrace,” Phillips said, leaning back in her chair and tugging down on her bright pink shirt. “Even in the LGBT community. No one wants to talk about us. No one wants to help us. So when you walk in the center, and you’re their first priority… you never want to leave.”

Providing the complex and personalized care that young people like Phillips need is a large and difficult job.

There is little research into the mental health of LGBTQ youth, especially in the scope of homelessness studies, and none specifically focused on trans and nonbinary youth. But the few existing studies indicate that queer people end up on the street in disproportionate numbers. LGBTQ youth account for 40 percent of young people on the street nationwide, according to the Center for American Progress. The same study has found that while about 20 percent of U.S. teens in general are queer, 40 percent of homeless U.S. teens are queer. There is no precise data for the number of LGBTQ youth living on the streets of L.A.

These trends are connected to the wide range of challenges that young LGBTQ people face. Young queer people are 25 percent more likely to be sexually assaulted and twice as likely to run away from foster and group homes, the Center for American Progress found. Transgender people have an unemployment rate three times higher than the average American, research from GLAAD shows.

Faced with trauma, acute needs and questions about their gender identities, homeless LGBTQ youth need access to both mental and physical health care to make it through. They need food, showers and a safe place to rest. Many require education in the medical basics of affirming their gender identities. And many face tremendous fear, despite desperately wanting to take the next step.

Read More here at the Huffington Post https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/la-homeless-queer-youth_us_5ab01ab7e4b0e862383a7f5b

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