A Look at the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority

At the end of 1992, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, together with the Mayor and City Council of Los Angeles, came together to create the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. The primary goal of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority is to coordinate the efficient and effective use of local and federal funding in the provision or services to the homeless population in the city and county of Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority oversees over $243 million each year in city, county, state, and federal funds for programs designed to aid and assist the homeless. This includes providing temporary or transitional shelter, permanent housing, and other services to homeless men, women, and children in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Partners

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority partners with other entities in greater Los Angeles to carry out its mission on the behalf of homeless people. This includes over 100 nonprofit partner agencies in the city and county of Los Angeles. The ultimate goal of these various partnerships is to assist homeless people in achieving stable, permanent housing as well as true independence.

The services and resources provided by the various partner agencies include, but are not limited to:

  • Outreach
  • Access centers
  • Emergency shelters
  • Safe havens
  • Transitional housing
  • Permanent housing
  • Prevention programming
  • Various supportive
  • Training (including life skills)

In addition to working closely with various nonprofit partners, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority also works closely with the County of Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles. These local governmental partnerships are designed to integrate housing opportunities and various services to better ensure a broader distribution of housing and service options through the city and county Los Angeles Continuum Care initiative.

Coordinated Entry System

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority maintains what is known as the Coordinated Entry System. This serves to provide assistance to individual adults, individual youths, and families who are homeless. The main objectives of the Coordinated Entry System have been identified as:

Reduce the amount of time a family or individual is homeless and permanently house these people as quickly as possible.

Expand upon existing community-based infrastructures to better serve homeless families, leverage resources, and provide more targeted and cost-effective interventions for homeless adult individuals, homeless youths, and homeless families.

Eligibility for entry into the Coordinated Entry System as a single adult is highly straightforward:

  • Over the age of 18
  • Homeless in the city or county of Los Angeles

The Coordinated Entry System for single adults relies upon a common triage system throughout the city and county. In addition, partnering agencies utilize a shared database to better access resources as well as to share vital information and track outcomes.

Eligibility for entry into the Coordinated Entry System for families is equally straightforward:

  • Meet the definition of family for the purposes of the program
  • Face a housing crisis

Under the directives of the Coordinated Entry System, a qualified family is:

  • A family must meet the definition of Homeless or imminently at-risk of homelessness (Status will be determined when you visit the Family Center).
  • A family must have one or more minor children in your legal custody.
  • Income must be at or below 30% Area Median Income.

A housing crisis includes not just actual homelessness, but a family facing the imminent prospect of homelessness. Ideally, intervention can occur before a family ends up on the street.

The Coordinated Entry System for Youth also strives to be proactive. A youth or young adult need not be actually homeless to qualify for the program. Rather, a youth or young adult can face imminent homelessness to enter into this program.

Recognizing that there is a significant number of homeless young people in Los Angeles, the Coordinated Entry System for Youth was established. This is considered to be a client-centered system designed to address the need for appropriate housing and support services for youth as well as young adults between the ages of 16 to 24.

Annual Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Homeless Count

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority is the primary organization responsible for the annual homeless county. Over the course of a few days in January each year, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority organizes teams of volunteers to fan out across the county to undertake a count of the entire homeless population in the greater Los Angeles area. In 2018, 8,608 volunteers were involved in the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority homeless count.

The data collected from the annual census of the homeless population is used to better understand the state of homelessness in the city and county. In addition, the count is used to assist in providing services and resources to the homeless community.