Like all of our neighbors, we are deeply concerned by the recent report that more of our neighbors are homeless than ever before. We appreciate the efforts of the many volunteers who took the time to get an accurate count and the results point to the fact that much more work needs to be done.
At National Health Foundation (NHF), we have been working arm in arm with our community neighbors, private and non-profit partners and elected officials to create the new Pico Union Recuperative Care facility. With 64 beds, this center provides medical oversight for individuals experiencing homelessness who have been released from the hospital. Together with our Mid-City and Ventura locations, we now have a capacity of 98 beds. It gives them a place to fully recover and to begin working towards a stable housing situation. Last year alone, we served 1,063 individuals and placed roughly 65% into housing. Both Measure H and HHH revenue have supported this important work as have the commitments of our partners including Cedars Sinai, Dignity Health, Prospect Medical, Blue Shield Promise and LA Care.
As we look ahead, we aim to support more communities like Pico Union that embrace the creation of programs and facilities that provide services to the homeless, turning NIMBY (Not in my backyard) into YIMBY (YES! In my backyard!) This community integrated approach will permit us to make use of available spaces to serve individuals in the communities they know as home. While this alone will not solve the issue of homelessness, it will provide an expanded safety net for the most vulnerable of the homeless in our community.
In response to the results of the 2019 Homeless Count, NHF President and CEO Kelly Bruno said:
“I am saddened by the news that more of our neighbors are struggling to stay housed but I am also heartened by what I saw this past year. Our neighbors in Pico Union embraced the conversion of an abandoned property into a recuperative care facility. Because of this, the most vulnerable homeless individuals will have the opportunity to be re-housed. It is my commitment to continue to explore and expand these life-saving services in our community.”