Creative Initiative Helps LA’s Homeless

In Los Angeles County, a coalition of nonprofit, business, and city leaders have found permanent housing for more than 3,000 veterans and chronically homeless people.  It is the result of a new initiative called Home for Good, a project that plans to end long-term homelessness nationwide by 2016.  This unique effort was launched by the United Way of Greater Los Angeles in partnership with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.   The Los Angeles Times reported, “More than 100 community leaders and organizations — including the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, several cities and housing authorities, law enforcement officials and nonprofits — have endorsed the plan.”  Among the signatories is Hernan Vera, a friend of PBI who is President and CEO of the nonprofit Public Counsel.  A representative from Bingham McCutchen LLP*† is serving on Home for Good’s Business Leaders Task Force on Homelessness which supervises the plan’s implementation.  The PBEye is excited to see this new partnership grow among city, nonprofit and business professionals to support the homeless with a more unified approach.

To date, the program has exceeded its goals by housing a total of 2,273 chronically homeless and 864 veterans.  Home for Good is specifically focused on these populations because according to experts, the chronically homeless use a “disproportionate share of public services, including hospital emergency rooms and jails.”  The number of homeless vets has increased from 7,400 to 9,100 in the past two years, and surveyors predict this number will continue to rise as veterans return from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Home for Good “proposes reallocating about $230 million in existing resources each year to pay for permanent supportive housing, which includes counseling and treatment to help keep people off the streets.”  We applaud this creative collaboration that has resulted in a greater commitment of public resources.  With a long-range plan in place and community support, we look forward to hearing about Home for Good’s progress in the future.

* denotes a Signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®

† denotes a Member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project