HFH launched the Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool (FHSP), a locally funded rental subsidy program, in February 2014 with an initial contribution of $14 million from Los Angeles County and $4 million from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. The FHSP is operated by a non-profit partner, Brilliant Corners (BC), who administers the local rental subsidy vouchers to landlords and provides tenancy services to clients.
The FHSP is designed to provide rental subsidies in a variety of housing settings including project-based and scattered site housing. In order to meet the demand for housing in a tight rental market, the program works with a variety of housing providers to secure units in nonprofit owned supportive housing, traditional affordable housing, and privately-owned market rate housing.
The FHSP was designed so that other funders, including other County departments, would be able to add funds to serve clients that they prioritize for housing. The FHSP has expanded to provide housing paired with ICMS for several additional County programs for people experiencing homelessness.
Permanent supportive housing, the cornerstone of Housing for Health’s (HFH) approach, includes decent, safe, and affordable housing linked to a flexible array of supportive services. These on-site or roving, field-based supportive services along with access to medical and behavioral health care are integral to achieving housing stability, improved health status, and greater levels of independence and economic security.
DHS supportive housing projects use a variety of community- based housing options including:
- Non-profit owned supportive housing – non-profit owned buildings with units dedicated to serving homeless individuals and/or families.
- Master leased buildings – long term leases of privately owned buildings (lease entire building).
- Scattered site housing – units rented from private landlords (can range from renting a single unit to blocks of units within a building).
HFH relies on both federal rental subsides (project-based and tenant-based vouchers) as well as a locally funded rental subsidy program called the Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool.
HFH contracts with community-based organizations to provide Intensive Case Management Services (ICMS) to all clients. HFH staff are consistently expanding work orders with ICMS providers to increase the permanent housing inventory. The ICMS providers employ a “whatever it takes approach” to assist clients in their transition from homelessness to permanent housing. Services provided include:
- Client outreach and engagement
- Ongoing case management
- Linkages to health, mental health, and substance use disorder services (link to a medical home, Medicaid, SSI, IHSS)
- Benefits Assistance- e.g. SSI/SSDI, VA Benefits, CAPI application submission
- Assistance with life skills, employment, and education
- Locating housing and eviction prevention services
When a client is referred to an ICMS provider, they receive personalized services based on a thorough assessment of their needs and goals. A strengths based approach to service delivery is critical to creating housing stability for clients transitioning from homelessness to permanent supportive housing. Case managers create individualized service plans with the use of trauma informed assessments and work on goals during each phase of the journey from homelessness to permanent housing. When an ICMS provider finds that additional services are needed to meet their clients’ goals they create partnerships and linkages with agencies to make referrals and provide follow up to ensure those services are provided. HFH has embraced the “whatever it takes” philosophy which is client centered and is the basis for how services are provided in permanent supportive housing.
The Housing and Jobs Collaborative (HJC) was implemented in early 2016. HJC is a rapid rehousing program that connects individuals experiencing homelessness to affordable permanent housing through a tailored package of services that includes flexible term rental subsidies, case management, and employment services. HJC is client-centered and employs a “whatever it takes approach” to assist clients in their transition from homelessness to permanent housing, with an employment element and a time limited rental voucher.
The target population for HJC services are individuals identified as needing short-term rental subsidies who are not expected to need ongoing support services. The average time that a client receives a housing subsidy is approximately one year; however, some clients will be able to transition to paying their own rent in a few months and some need the subsidy for longer than a year. Employment services include resume building, practice interviews, vocational and educational classes, employment search and other training opportunities. HJC clients are also assisted with practical items that support employment such as clothing, bus tokens/taxi vouchers, phones, voice mail, and mailing address.
Interim Housing offers temporary short-term shelter in a stable environment to homeless individuals with complex health and/or mental illness, whose conditions would be worsened by living on the streets or in a shelter. There are two types of Interim Housing:
Recuperative housing provides short-term residential care for individuals who are homeless and who are recovering from an acute illness or injury and whose condition would be exacerbated by living on the streets, in a shelter, or other unsuitable places. Recuperative housing services provide hospitals with discharge options for homeless participants, which can reduce the length of hospital stays and result in decreased emergency room visits and hospital re-admissions.
Stabilization housing provide temporary housing for individuals who are homeless and have complex, chronic physical and/or behavioral health conditions, including clients who have frequent visits to emergency departments or hospitals.
In January 2017, Housing for Health opened the Dr. David L. Murphy Sobering Center, which is operated by Exodus Recovery, Inc. The site provides a welcoming, safe and secure environment for short term (under 24 hours) monitoring and management of persons under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and provides an alternative to jail and hospital emergency departments. The sobering center operates 24/7, giving those struggling with intoxication the opportunity to sober up and be linked to services that might help address their alcohol and drug issues, and other needs.
- The 50-bed facility allows police and fire departments, outreach and engagement teams and downtown partners to divert people under the influence of alcohol or drugs who may have otherwise been taken to an emergency department or jail.
- The site is a monitored recovery milieu with nursing observation/care, resting beds/pods, showers, light snacks, hydration, and laundry facilities.
- Social services and linkages to community resources are provided including detox, residential rehabilitation, sober living, crisis and interim housing, and primary and mental health care.
- The program is fully integrated with the DHS Electronic Medical Records system enabling continuity of care.
Infusing high-quality clinical care and consultations is fundamental to HFH’s service delivery model. Given the complexity of the physical and behavioral health conditions many homeless people face, including clinicians on the team to help support our clients, provide services, and consult with our ICMS providers has greatly increased the effectiveness and reach of our work.
The DHS-operated Star Clinic, located in the heart of Skid Row, is the hub of our clinical services. The clinic specializes in serving patients with complex physical and behavioral health issues who suffer high rates of morbidity. The clinic also provides easy access to medical care for HFH clients residing in nearby interim and permanent housing projects.
In January 2016, HFH created a street based engagement team known as C3 in response to the incredible health crisis in the Skid Row area of downtown. C3 is a multidisciplinary engagement effort that has helped pave the way for the County’s most ambitious street engagement expansion to date. HFH has launched multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) throughout the County that are operated by a lead agency community-based organization within each of the eight Service Planning Areas (SPAs).
The MDTs respond to reports of homeless individuals or encampments as well as case find by driving/walking a targeted area to regularly engage and assist homeless individuals by developing trusting relationships over time. The goal of these MDTs is to get homeless individual’s housed, connected to sources of income and supportive services, and to reduce the number of homeless individuals living on our streets.
Housing for Health launched a benefits advocacy services program called Countywide Benefits Entitlement Services Team (CBEST) in March 2017. CBEST provides targeted advocacy to assist individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in obtaining sustainable income through programs such as Social Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
CBEST services include working closely with outreach and engagement teams in each SPA, coordinating and integrating with existing systems of care, gathering and summarizing health records, linking clients to health services to document disability, and completing applications.
How to Refer:
Call the number listed in your Service Planning Area (SPA):
Refer within your Service Planning Area (SPA):
SPA 1 (661) 948-8559
SPA 2 (818) 342-5897
SPA 3 (626) 593-2364
SPA 4 (213) 529-0979
SPA 5 (310) 399-6878
SPA 6 (323) 432-4363
SPA 7 (562) 373-5264
SPA 8 (562) 599-1321
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