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Homeless Prevention Programs Meant to Help the Unhoused and Keep People Off the Streets

Initiatives Offer Short-Term Rental Support, Legal Assistance to Individuals and Families 

By Dolores Quintana

There are a number of programs that the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) is currently employing to help alleviate the issue of unhoused Angelenos. These Homeless Prevention Programs are designed to provide crucial support to low-income families and individuals teetering on the brink of housing instability. The thought is that preventing homelessness will help lower the number of unhoused residents on the streets. 

Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s Homelessness Prevention Program encompasses short-term rental subsidies, mediation with landlords and property managers, and legal defense against eviction, all aimed at preventing homelessness. Moreover, it extends its reach to individuals exiting institutions such as jails, hospitals, and foster care to ensure they do not fall into homelessness.

The Problem-Solving service available to residents empowers individuals to identify housing solutions within their personal networks. This approach harnesses the strength of relationships with friends and family to secure stable housing. In select cases, one-time financial assistance is also available as a last resort to expedite the transition into temporary or permanent housing.

This is one of the most innovative programs in Los Angeles County’s attempts to Partner with UCLA’s California Policy Lab; the Los Angeles County Departments of Health Services (DHS) and Mental Health (DMH) have launched the Homeless Prevention Unit pilot program. The program uses computer analysis to identify individuals at the highest risk of homelessness among heavy users of public health care and social safety net services. Participants receive financial assistance and are connected to vital resources such as health care, mental health services, employment training, legal aid, and other crucial support services.

The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) plays a vital role in homeless prevention with programs like “Bringing Families Home,” the “Family Reunification Housing Subsidy,” and the “Prevention and Aftercare Program.” Additionally, the “Supervised Independent Living Program” extends support to young adults aged 18 to 21, helping them transition successfully from the foster care system into independent living.

Additional Initiatives by Los Angeles County:
Administered by the Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS), the “Adult Protective Services (APS) Home Safe” program offers a comprehensive array of services, including case management and rental assistance. Its focus is to maintain existing housing arrangements and prevent clients from entering the emergency shelter system.

“Stay Housed LA County,” a collaborative effort among Los Angeles County, the City of Los Angeles, and local community and legal service providers, equips individuals with the information and resources needed to secure and maintain stable housing.

These multifaceted programs underscore Los Angeles’ commitment to proactively address homelessness by supporting those on the brink of housing instability, ultimately striving to create a more equitable and secure future for all residents.

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