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March 6
1772 - Spanish Capt. Pedro Fages arrives; camps at Agua Dulce, Castaic, Lake Elizabeth, Lebec, Tejon [story]
Pedro Fages


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
Friday, Mar 5, 2021
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Friday confirmed 144 new deaths and 2,110 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 26,403 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Thursday, Mar 4, 2021
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday 119 new deaths and 2,253 new cases of COVID-19, with 26,327 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Thursday, Mar 4, 2021
Los Angeles County Library is partnering with Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) to bring virtual arts programs to our communities, featuring LACMA teaching artists and staff.
Thursday, Mar 4, 2021
Because of the recent rainfall, Los Angeles County Health Officer, Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, is cautioning residents that bacteria, chemicals, debris, trash, and other public health hazards from city streets and mountain areas are likely to contaminate ocean waters at and around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers after a rainfall.
Wednesday, Mar 3, 2021
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Wednesday confirmed 116 new deaths and 1,759 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia reported its 144th fatality since the pandemic began.

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