Los Angeles County has launched Pathway Home, a major expansion of its efforts to resolve encampments, with a successful operation in unincorporated Lennox that helped 59 people move inside.
The Pathway Home encampment resolution program, which includes recreational vehicles or RVs, is just one component of the ongoing, multi-pronged response to the homelessness crisis launched under the emergency declared by the Board of Supervisors in January.
The program, which will roll out in other communities of L.A. County in the months ahead, will partner closely with local jurisdictions.
The first Pathway Home encampment resolution, in unincorporated Lennox, took place from Aug. 9 to 11 and was conducted in collaboration with the Office of Supervisor Holly Mitchell along with officials serving Lennox and the cities of Inglewood and Hawthorne.
This operation focused on a cluster of longstanding encampments, including one dubbed “The Dead End”, beside or beneath the 405 Freeway, near Los Angeles International Airport. In all, 59 people were supported to come indoors, 50 of whom chose to move into a hotel administered through Pathway Home, while nine others entered other forms of interim housing. Pathway Home also supported housing 26 pets, the removal of seven RVs, and the cleanup and removal of tents, trash and other items from the site.
The launch of Pathway Home comes as the County is also partnering closely and successfully with the city of Los Angeles on its own encampment resolution program, Inside Safe.
“Pathway Home is part of an urgent mobilization that reflects an all-hands-on deck approach to scale up and fast-track proven solutions to reduce unsheltered homelessness,” said Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative Director Cheri Todoroff, whose team within the Chief Executive Office coordinated the operation.
Supervisors lauded the launch of Pathway Home, which will help people living on the streets come indoors by offering them a more diverse array of immediate options for interim housing along with a comprehensive suite of wraparound services, with the goal of helping them achieve stability and ultimately move into permanent housing.
“The homelessness crisis requires an urgent and singular focus on getting every person, regardless of how they are living on the streets, connected to long-term housing and the supportive services they need to stay housed. I am proud that the County’s RV Encampment Pilot is one of the key components of Pathway Home. This is critical for our unincorporated communities that remain heavily impacted by vehicular homelessness,” said Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, 2nd District. “By centralizing the County’s homelessness outreach and solutions under one umbrella so key partners across County departments and city jurisdictions are working together with the power of the emergency order, Pathway Home can help us significantly address this crisis.”
“Los Angeles County is once again demonstrating its steadfast commitment to addressing the crisis on our streets,” said Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, 1st District. “With Pathway Home, we’re using every tool at our disposal, including emergency powers and Measure H funding, to resolve homeless encampments by offering better alternatives. These include a hotel room they can immediately stay in, supportive services to help them get back on their feet, and rental subsidies to help them afford an apartment of their own. Our local cities and unincorporated communities are crucial to this effort, and I thank them for their partnership.”
“Our declaration of a state of emergency regarding homelessness allows us to move faster and cut through red tape to bring services and shelter to our unhoused neighbors,” said Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath, 3rd District. “Pathway Home expands on the County’s work to provide coordinated care, including mental health and substance use supports, for unincorporated communities and smaller cities. We are focused on delivering the full breadth of intensive services available in the County, made possible through Measure H, to unhoused residents so that they can heal and transform their lives.”
“This new strategy needs to build on what we have learned from both Project Roomkey and Inside Safe so that we can more effectively address encampments in neighborhoods across the County outside of the city of Los Angeles,” said Board Chair and Supervisor Janice Hahn, 4th District. “Many encampments have become tight-knit communities and we are going to have a better chance at convincing people to come inside if we can bring entire encampments inside together.”
“One of Pathway Home’s biggest strengths is its ability to harness the power of multiple entities so that they work in unison,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger, 5th District. “Helping individuals who are homeless requires careful planning and a wide array of supportive services along with housing options. I’m glad to see that those components are all part of Pathway Home’s program design. Helping our homeless living on our streets isn’t easy. It takes persistence and consistency. As I’ve said all along, the best approaches apply collaborative and coordinated efforts. Pathway Home will be an example of this.”
In addition to the Office of Supervisor Mitchell, unincorporated Lennox, and the Cities of Inglewood and Hawthorne, the County’s partners in the first Pathway Home encampment resolution included the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority; the County Departments of Health Services, Mental Health, Public Works, Sheriff, and Animal Care and Control; the nonprofit providers Catholic Charities, St. Margaret’s Center, Mental Health America LA, Harbor Interfaith, St. Joseph Center, and PATH; and the California Department of Transportation and California Highway Patrol.
Additional Background on Pathway Home
Pathway Home begins with outreach teams developing trusting relationships with people at an encampment, helping them get treatment for immediate medical needs, and offering them immediate and diverse options for interim housing, including at partner hotels.
Once at interim housing, participants receive supportive services such as on-site case management and connections to physical and mental healthcare, substance use disorder treatment, benefits enrollment, life skills development, and more.
To facilitate their transition to permanent housing, the County will connect them with housing navigation to help them throughout the lease-up process, and time-limited subsidies for individuals whose income is insufficient to cover the rent. They can continue to receive supportive services when permanently housed in their own apartment.
After declaring a state of emergency on homelessness in January 2023, the Board of Supervisors authorized efforts to streamline hiring, contracting, purchasing, grants, and real estate processes. This has, and continues to, enable the County to expand, enhance and expedite elements of its homeless services system, giving rise to Pathway Home. Partnerships with local jurisdictions further grow capacity and bring in valuable additional resources.
Pathway Home has also been made possible by Measure H, a voter-approved .25-cent sales tax that has enabled the County’s homeless services system to grow exponentially over the last six years. Since Measure H passed in 2017, the County has housed 90,500 people, about the population of Santa Monica, sheltered 124,000 people and prevented 22,000 people from becoming homeless.
Previous multi-jurisdictional emergency housing efforts, such as Project Roomkey during the COVID-19 pandemic, have informed the County’s encampment resolution protocols. Over the first phase of the emergency declaration, the County has partnered with the city of Los Angeles on 24 Inside Safe encampment resolutions to date, and now will partner with other cities and unincorporated communities through Pathway Home.