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Homelessness in California
State Government and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Need to Strengthen Their Efforts to Address Homelessness

Report Number: 2017-112

Response to the Survey From —
Los Angeles City and County CoC


HUD provides two lists of California Continuum of Care (CoC) key contacts: one for Northern California and one for Southern California.
You can find these lists at
  1. Enter the CoC number for which you are completing the survey.

  2. Enter the CoC name for which you are completing the survey.

    Los Angeles City and County CoC

  3. Enter the organization within the CoC that you represent.

    Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA)

  4. What type of organization do you represent?.

  5. How many staff (full-time equivalents) does your organization employ?


  6. Does your organization provide homeless services directly for clients?

    While LAHSA primarily functions as a public funding administrator responsible for management of homeless services in the City and County of Los Angeles, its Homeless Engagement Teams provide street-based outreach services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness. The goal of these services is to assist clients with accessing services including emergency housing, health, mental health, substance abuse, and benefits services with a focus on developing a path to permanent housing.

  7. Are you a direct recipient on your CoC's HUD application?
  8. Approximately what percentage of the funding your organization administers is from HUD for the CoC program?


  9. If not your organization, is there another organization in your CoC that administers the majority of homeless services funding?

  10. Does your CoC conduct an unsheltered Point-in-Time (PIT) count annually? (Including those years not required by HUD)
  11. In which year did your CoC begin conducting an annual unsheltered PIT count?


  12. Why did your CoC decide to conduct an annual unsheltered PIT count?

    To obtain a better understanding and assessment of the situation of homelessness in Los Angeles for grant and service planning.

  13. What funding sources do you use to conduct the annual unsheltered PIT count? (Check all that apply.)

  14. How did your CoC facilitate the annual unsheltered PIT count?
    (For example, did you increase the number of volunteers, or find additional funding?)

    We recruited, coordinated, and trained over 8,000 voluno We recruited, coordinated, and trained over 8,000 volunteers of community members, law enforcement, service providers, outreach workers, and city and county departments to conduct a visual tally of the entire CoC We conducted over 5,000 demographic surveys and 1,000 youth surveys to obtain the demographic characteristics of our homeless population. We partnered with the University of Southern California as our demographic survey and statistical consultants to confirm and analyze all the data collected.

  15. Did your organization have any challenges in implementing an annual unsheltered PIT count?

    In a jurisdiction that covers almost 4,000 square miles, has 85 cities, and 5 supervisorial districts, there are always challenges when conducting an effort of this size (74% unsheltered, approximately 57,794 homeless persons in 2017) and the Homeless Count team works all year to anticipate and prepare for these challenges. For example, some challenges included counting in high-crime areas, we overcame them by partnering with law enforcement. Counting city, county, state, and national parks, riverbeds, and beaches is difficult due to the terrain, we overcame this by partnering with park rangers and life guards from all departments. Training 8,000 volunteers consistently is a challenge, we overcame this by producing a high-quality training video made available online and shown at all deployment sites before volunteers were deployed to count.

  16. How has conducting an annual unsheltered PIT count affected your CoC's operations and/or outcomes? If you have any data or analyses, please share specific metrics.

    The annual unsheltered PIT count has allowed Los Angeles to more closely monitor trends in homelessness and understand needs for housing and services. Further, it has allowed LAHSA to provide regional need-based input into the annual budgeting process for LA City and County, increasing local funding to meet the region's acute needs. Although LAHSA is able to use the local HMIS to reach these insights for sheltered populations, about three quarters of persons experiencing homelessness in the LA CoC are unsheltered, making a regular unsheltered count that much more critical to understanding the current needs for housing and services.

  17. Why does your CoC not conduct an annual unsheltered PIT count? (Check * all that apply)


  18. Please elaborate on the reasons why your CoC does not conduct an annual unsheltered PIT count.

  19. What would cause your CoC to conduct an unsheltered PIT count in the years not required by HUD?

  20. What sources does your organization use to fund the HUD-required PIT count of unsheltered homeless? (Check all that apply)


  21. How much did your CoC's 2017 PIT count cost?

    $1.5 Million
  22. How many people did your CoC require to conduct its 2017 PIT count? (Staff, volunteers, and others)

    15 staff members, 8000 plus volunteers

  23. How many of those identified in Question 22 were volunteers?

    8000 plus

  24. Does your CoC recruit volunteers for its unsheltered PIT count from organizations outside the homeless services community?

    Civic groups, Community volunteer groups, Corporations and businesses, Colleges and Universities, Neighborhood Councils, Faith-based communities, Independent cities, Law Enforcement, City and County Departments, Healthcare organizations, Mental Health organizations

  25. Please share your perspective on the reasons your CoC's unsheltered homeless population in 2017 did or did not change from that in its previous unsheltered PIT count.

    Our 2017 PIT count showed a 23% increase in unsheltered homeless population from 34,701 to 42,828. Several factors may have contributed to such increase: The Los Angeles Metro area is the most cost-burdened in the United States. According to data from the Joint Center for Housing Studies, 48 percent of all residents in LA County pay more than 30 percent of their income on rent. Eighty-two percent of the lowest income residents (earning under $15,000 per yr.) pay more than 50 percent of income on rent. LA County has the highest poverty rate in CA at 25.6 percent, according to the Public Policy Institute of California's California Poverty Measure. Is this the correct name? Housing affordability is a persistent crisis in Los Angeles with many contributing factors. Median rent in Los Angeles County has increased 28 percent from 2000 to 2014, while median renter household income has decreased eight percent when adjusted for inflation, according to a study by the California Housing Partnership Corporation. These numbers also reflect the housing affordability challenges that LA County residents feel directly in their own lives as they struggle to find apartments and housing within their means. They speak to a broader conversation that needs to take place regarding the housing crisis in our region.

  26. Has your CoC reallocated funding in the past?

    Reallocation is a community process that requires input, review, and approval from the CoC governance structures. LA CoC has reallocated some amount since the 2014 Continuum of Care Program Competition and reviewed and refined methods each year to be in line with HUD policy and best practices.

  27. How often does your CoC reevaluate final priority rankings for the HUD CoC Program Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), based on HUD priorities?

  28. How often does your CoC perform the following gap analyses?

    Housing gap analysis—Annually

    Funding gap analysis—Annually (using housing gaps to inform budget requests)

    Service gap analysis—Annually (through Measure H budget process)

    Other (please specify)—

  29. In what year did your CoC perform each of the following for the first time, or leave the row blank if it is not applicable.

    Housing gap analysis

    Funding gap analysis

    Service gap analysis

    Other (as you identified in question 27)

  30. Does your CoC employ specific strategies for identifying alternative funding for programs that are reallocated or do not receive HUD funding?

    LAHSA has worked with agencies whose programs have been reallocated to look at what services they were providing previous to reallocating and if there are programmatic changes that could be implemented to make a change to operate in a new model with different programming. When Los Angeles had reallocated a large portion of its Transitional Housing portfolio, nearly 50 programs, it worked with multiple agencies on their programs who had expressed interest in transitioning programming to operate as a bridge housing model.

  31. Does your CoC have a strategic plan that integrates other publicly-funded programs that provide services, housing, and income supports to poor persons whether they are homeless or not (mainstream benefits and services)?

  32. Please provide a web address to your CoC's most recent strategic plan or email it as an attachment to

    City of Los Angeles Homeless Strategies - County of Los Angeles Strategies - 2006 Bring LA Home Plan - Home for good plan -

  33. When did your CoC complete its first strategic plan?

    The first strategic plan was developed in 2006, called the Bring Los Angeles Home. Shortly after that, the private business and philanthropic community assisted in developing the Home for Good plan.

  34. How often does your CoC update its strategic plan?

    Currently, we're doing one year operational planning due to the scale up of local resources and needing to adapt to changing environments.

  35. How has your strategic plan benefited your CoC?

    Current City and County of Los Angeles plans resulted in the strengthening of the Coordinated Entry System (CES) and integration of City and County Departments into the homeless delivery system. In addition, these initiatives helped to build the community will to get Measure H and Proposition HHH introduced and passed by the voters. This Measure and Proposition bring in to Los Angeles housing and supportive services to end homelessness.

  36. Why has your CoC not developed a strategic plan?

  37. What grant-seeking or fundraising activities does your CoC engage in?

    The Los Angeles CoC engages in grant funding opportunities via HUD funding such as Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance and Emergency Solutions Grant funding. In addition, LAHSA, on behalf of the CoC reviews funding opportunities for its stakeholders and provides information regarding these opportunities to those specific and relevant agencies to ensure that they apply. LAHSA also participates in the Funders Collaborative which is a group of private grants that are available to fill in where public funds are restrictive ie Hilton Foundation. As a part of this process, LAHSA coordinates a new CoC projects Request for Proposals to seek new CoC grant funding for projects, as well as seeking renewal grant funding for ongoing CoC projects. On several occasions, LAHSA has developed and submitted an application to national demonstration projects released by federal agencies on behalf of the Los Angeles Continuum of Care.

  38. Are there any strategies or unique actions your agency takes that have strengthened your CoC?

    Yes, as the lead for the CoC, LAHSA has taken on the leadership role in assisting with the City and County of Los Angeles in developing and implementing the homeless strategies to help prevent and end homelessness in Los Angeles. LAHSA worked collaboratively with City and County of Los Angeles, United Way and other key partners to build comprehensive set of strategies to beat homeless and build local will to implement those strategies. Now, we are in the midst of implementing and seeking ways to align new resources which are more flexible than the federal resources and find that balance to ensure a complete and comprehensive list of resources are available. LAHSA has also been leading the capacity building work that Los Angeles is doing to support the community based organizations and strengthen their capacity to implement the resources to work hand in hand with philanthropic community. Last year, LAHSA focused on the issue of homelessness among women and looped in a gender framework and identified and implemented strategies for ensuring that womens needs were being met in the homeless delivery system. In 2018, the focus will be for black people who are experiencing homelessness. This year, we are also implementing several pilots which are new and innovative approaches. These include shallow subsidies that are long term and are targeted placed eviction prevention programs; the co-location of homeless services staff in County Departments, and a pilot with the County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). In order to expand our base of nonprofit homeless service providers and build capacity within the CoC, in early 2017 LAHSA implemented our Request for Statement of Qualifications (RFSQ) process. Essentially the RFSQ process evaluates a nonprofit organization's administrative, fiscal and organizational capacity and financial stability to manage large publicly funded contracts and certifies the agencies to apply for LAHSA funding opportunities. This RFSQ removes this agency threshold evaluation process from our Request for Proposals (RFP) process which reduces the RFP timeline and allows proposers to focus solely on designing effective program structure and service delivery.

  39. Please provide any information about these strategies or actions.
    Feel free to provide web addresses to any reports or email them as attachments to

    Complete documentation of LAHSA's RFSQ process can be found on our website at:

  40. If you have any additional perspective or concerns, please provide this information in the space below.
    For example, if you would like to share additional information regarding homelessness, services, or funding.

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