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Unprecedented Collaboration and Momentum to Solve Homelessness

By Andrea Iloulian, Kristin Aldana-Taday, January 12, 2016

Our 5th annual Chronic Homelessness convening showcased an unprecedented level of collaboration and forward momentum taking place in our city and county’s history to end homelessness.

From left to right: Miguel Santana, City Administrative Officer at City of Los Angeles; Andrea I loulian, Senior Program Officer at Conrad N. Hilton Foundation; Christine Margiotta, VP Community Impact at United Way of Greater Los Angeles; Phil Ansell, Director, Homeless Initiative at County of Los Angeles; Peter Lynn, Executive Director of Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority; Steve Hilton, Chairman of the Board at Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

Over the last several months, both new and existing efforts to end homelessness in Los Angeles have been highlighted throughout the media. Here at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, we feel the below video offers answers to the underlying question of “what’s different this time?”

2015 Chronic Homelessness Convening

While the Hilton Foundation has been working to end chronic homelessness throughout the nation for more than 20 years, in 2011, the Foundation began to focus its efforts more strategically on chronic homelessness here in Los Angeles. Our team has been on the ground with non-profit, philanthropic, and public sector partners working toward this shared goal for many years now and at the Foundation’s 5th annual convening, we aimed to showcase what we see that’s different: an unprecedented level of collaboration and forward momentum taking place in our city and county’s history to end homelessness.

A common thread ran through the day’s conversations, affirming our collective momentum to end homelessness. Nearly 100 people attended the event held at the Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, including grantees, funding partners, and representatives of the public sector. We were honored to have representatives from both the city and the county sitting on a panel together discussing their strategies and plans to align our efforts.

The discussions throughout the day provided opportunities to learn about the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s role and vision, the LA City/County regional planning process, and findings from the Hilton Foundation’s 2015 Chronic Homelessness Initiative Evaluation Report.

We look forward to our continued work with our partners working to end chronic homelessness in Los Angeles County.

A special thank you to our speakers: Celina Alvarez, Executive Director of Housing Works; Va Lecia Adams Kellum, Executive Director of St. Jospeh Center; Peter Lynn, Executive Director of Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority; Phil Ansell, Director, Homeless Initiative at County of Los Angeles; Miguel Santana, City Administrative Officer at City of Los Angeles; Christine Margiotta, VP Community Impact at United Way of Greater Los Angeles.

Below are some key quotes and insights from the convening:

The solution to this problem exists within this community. And if we can listen to each other carefully, we can enable those solutions to emerge. – Phill Ansell, Director Homeless Initiative - County of Los Angeles

We’re really talking about scale. We’re talking about what it is really going to take in acknowledging that we need new resources, new energy around the table, and that, they’re tangible conversations about how to do that. – Christine Margiotta, VP Community Impact - United Way of Greater Los Angeles

Whether we’re in the streets. Whether we’re digging into those encampments. Whether we are clipping someone’s toenails. Whether we’re in there, in those apartments, keeping people alive, it’s about whatever it takes. – Va Lecia Adams Kellum, Executive Director - St. Jospeh Center

Isn’t it time we do for others, what we do for those closest to us? – Celina Alvarez, Executive Director - Housing Works

What’s incumbent on us is to ensure that we’re meeting people where they’re at, we are approaching them with an authentic communication that is at scale to where they are at, is not judgmental, is offered in a trustworthy fashion so it’s repeated and consistent. It’s human and it’s based on respect. – Peter Lynn, Executive Director - Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority

The status quo isn’t acceptable and I think there’s a growing appreciation of that. And so with that comes the will to find new solutions, new resources, and new opportunities. – Miguel Santana, City Administrative Officer - City of Los Angeles

I just wanted to say to you in terms of the Hilton Foundation, we will walk with you. And I say you, meaning city, county, providers, United Way, the business community, our donor friends, other foundations, we’re in it for the long haul. – Steve Hilton, Chairman of the Board – Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

We need to be working together with you. From my perspective collaboration is not an option, it’s vital. So, I think the work that has been done over the last years to build this collaborative is tremendous and I think its future is very promising. – Peter Laugharn, President and CEO, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

We look forward to our continued work with our partners working to end chronic homelessness in Los Angeles County.

Andrea Iloulian Twitter

Senior Program Officer, Domestic Programs

Kristin Aldana-Taday Twitter

Program Officer, Domestic Programs

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Homelessness

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