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July 19
1924 - Sherman Block, L.A. County's 29th Sheriff (1982-1998), born in Chicago [story]


Calling it “Measure H at work,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas announced that “street engagement teams” are fanning out across Los Angeles County to have face-to-face interactions with people experiencing homelessness, and to help them access housing, healthcare, and other supportive services.

“All over the County of Los Angeles, you’ll find us working, doing what we need to do, lifting people up and restoring them to their full purpose and capacity,” Board Chairman Ridley-Thomas said at a news conference near where one of the teams was preparing to reach out to a homeless encampment near the 110 freeway in South LA.

Measure H, a voter-approved quarter-cent sales tax, will enable the County to create more street engagement teams as well as fund other efforts to help the homeless population, currently estimated at 58,000. The County began collecting the sales tax on October 1st and is working with nonprofit organizations such as the Homeless Outreach Program Integrated Care System (HOPICS) to build those teams.

“This is one of the most innovative and impactful strategies within LA County’s Homeless Initiative because it really allows us time to build rapport and trust with people on the street in order to encourage them to be willing to accept the services and resources that are offered,” HOPICS Division Director Veronica Lewis said. “It provides a robust mix of quality-of-life resources and specialized services on site – right on the street – such as medical care, mental health treatment, addiction support.”

Los Angeles City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson said the homeless outreach teams’ mission is to “meet our homeless brothers and sisters where they are, geographically, socially, emotionally and medically.” The County’s Health Agency Director, Dr. Mitch Katz, added, “We’re so proud to be partners with so many great agencies, and we look forward to the great success that’s going to occur now with the passage of Measure H.”

Monica Potts said she is no longer living on the streets, thanks to HOPICS. “What they offered me was clothing, housing, shelter, food, hygiene and outreach. I just want to thank HOPICS for striving and never giving up. I’m currently housed since June 2017 – God bless you.”

Immediately following the press conference, street outreach teams walked a few blocks to a homeless encampment and got to work. At least one person accepted their offer of shelter and other supportive services.

The County piloted street engagement teams in Skid Row back in January 2016, with each team consisting of a nurse, a substance use counselor, a mental health clinician, a social worker or outreach worker, and a person who has experienced homelessness. Together, they moved almost 300 people into permanent supportive housing, placed 600 people in interim housing, and matched 400 people to intensive services.

Encouraged by that success, the Board expanded the program countywide starting last spring. From May through September, street engagement teams have connected more than 1,000 people to services and are in the process of helping almost 400 people find permanent housing. To date, they have placed 363 people in interim housing, and helped 24 people move into housing with home-based services.

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LOS ANGELES COUNTY HEADLINES
Thursday, Jul 19, 2018
The Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative and Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority on Thursday launched the Los Angeles Homeless Outreach Portal, dubbed LA-HOP, the new Countywide Web-based portal that channels outreach support to people experiencing homelessness.
Tuesday, Jul 17, 2018
Supervisor Kathryn Barger cast the lone vote opposing a motion to place a measure on the November ballot which seeks to increase property taxes on residential and commercial properties to generate approximately $300 million a year to fund additional stormwater projects.
Tuesday, Jul 17, 2018
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to move forward with a comprehensive plan to increase local water supply and improve water quality.
Tuesday, Jul 17, 2018
The county of Los Angeles and community partners are working hand-in-hand to combat homelessness, which has decreased for the first time in four years.
Monday, Jul 16, 2018
The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District confirmed West Nile virus in a sample of mosquitoes collected from Panorama City (zip code 91402), the first confirmation of WNV activity in the district’s service area this year.

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