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Moments from our annual convening on ending chronic homelessness in LA County

By Andrea Iloulian, November 6, 2014

Every year, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation gathers partner organizations to discuss the progress of our collective work to end chronic homelessness in Los Angeles County.

Chronic Homelessness Initiative Convening

Every year, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation gathers partner organizations to discuss the progress of our collective work to end chronic homelessness in Los Angeles County. At this year’s convening, nearly 100 attendees—including grantees, funding partners, and the public sector—were welcomed by our VP of Programs, Ed Cain. After his remarks, the Foundation screened the new video below, featuring Dorothy Edwards and Lawrence McGhee, two formerly homeless individuals now directly representing their peers as community advocates with the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH). Our CEO, Steve Hilton, joins them in the video to describe our long-term commitment to ending chronic homelessness and the history of our relationship with the newly established CSH in the early 1990s.

Hilton Foundation Partnership With Corporation For Supportive Housing Los Angeles

Inspired by the video, the audience was excited to hear from another incredible advocate, Speaker of the California State Assembly, Toni G. Atkins, a leading voice for affordable housing, advocate for women, and champion for veterans and people experiencing homelessness. Speaker Atkins has led efforts to fund affordable homes through cap and trade fees, create state tax credits for housing preservation and innovation, and expand funding for homelessness prevention and veteran housing. Her keynote speech highlights her commitment to continue to drive policy essential to the success of local implementation. The Speaker was then joined by CSH community advocate Dorothy Edwards for a conversation about life and policies, before taking questions from the audience.

Following the panel discussion, Abt Associates—our evaluation and learning partner—shared the results of their third-year evaluation report. Brooke Spellman and Julia Brown reported on the system-wide progress since 2011 and presented a highlight of the recommendations in the latest report. Abt Associates praised stakeholders on making significant progress in expanding the supply of permanent supportive housing, increasing the use of Housing First approaches, prioritizing the most vulnerable homeless people for available housing opportunities, and housing thousands of chronically homeless persons over the past few years. The evaluation team particularly emphasized the county’s significant progress in implementing the Coordinated Entry System. A brief dashboard of progress and recommendations are available online as well as the full report.

The final session was committed to discussing chronic homelessness prevention. As Abt Associates shared with the audience, “We are starting to recognize that chronic homelessness is more dynamic than we had once thought…while we are making progress in housing people who have been homeless for many years, some of the people who became homeless more recently are remaining homeless long enough to become chronically homeless.” While research and pilot programs have begun throughout the United States, Abt stressed that the results of the most recent Los Angeles point-in-time count suggest it is essential to broaden this work to better understand how to prevent chronic homelessness if we hope to end it.

To help inform the discussion, our partners from CSH and Home For Good showed how current pilot projects, new tools, and data can help LA County take the first steps toward chronic homelessness prevention. Christine Marge, director of Home For Good, shared data about the estimated number of people who are projected to become chronically homeless in future years. Additionally, CSH Program Manager Angela Rosales shared insights about the Transition Age Youth Triage Tool that can help identify homeless youth at risk for chronic homelessness and CSH Los Angeles Director, Molly Rysman discussed the opportunities for partnership with the criminal justice system.

Thanks to everyone who joined in these discussions and made the convening a success.

Pictured from left to right: Bill Pitkin; Speaker of the Assembly Toni G. Atkins, Molly Rysman of CSH; Dorothy Edwards, CSH Community Advocate; and Ed Cain.

Andrea Iloulian Twitter

Senior Program Officer, Domestic Programs

Andrea Iloulian Twitter

Senior Program Officer, Domestic Programs

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