August 29, 2023
Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative
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Los Angeles County Successfully Launches Pathway Home for RV Encampments
58 people housed and 30 RVs taken off the streets in East Gardena
Los Angeles County’s new Pathway Home program to resolve encampments, including recreational vehicles (RVs), successfully placed 58 people into interim housing – including families with children – and removed 30 dilapidated RVs being used as makeshift dwellings on the streets of unincorporated East Gardena bordering West Rancho Dominguez.
This latest operation raises the total number of people brought into hotels and motels up to 108 since Pathway Home launched on August 9th. Meanwhile, the County’s RV-focused operations have taken 48 RVs off the streets, including the latest tally from Pathway Home.
Pathway Home is a critical component of the County’s multi-pronged response to the homelessness emergency declared by the Board of Supervisors earlier this year. Leveraging emergency powers, partnerships with local jurisdictions, and Measure H funding, Pathway Home helps people in encampments come indoors by offering them a hotel or motel room or other type of immediately available interim housing, along with a comprehensive suite of supportive services that can help them achieve stability and ultimately move into permanent housing.
“This is LA County government in action,” said Supervisor Holly Mitchell, who, with Supervisor Kathryn Barger, authored the motion to establish the pilot program that became the foundation of Pathway Home’s RV encampment resolution protocol. “Ending homelessness, especially for people living in RVs, requires collaboration with residents, multiple government departments, municipalities, and community partners. The launch of Pathway Home proves we can do it. By building on our established best practices and ongoing outreach efforts, Pathway Home creates an infrastructure for every entity to quickly work together in fulfilling its unique role in helping to end this crisis. We cannot do this without Measure H funding and a sustained urgency for getting every resident off the street and into permanent housing. I look forward to bringing this program to every encampment in the 2nd District and throughout Los Angeles County.”
East Gardena and West Rancho Dominguez have among the highest concentrations of RV encampments countywide. The Pathway Home operation that ran from August 22 through August 24 focused on several streets in a busy industrial area, helping 58 individuals, including seven families with children ranging from infants to teenagers, enter interim housing along with 20 pets and service animals. Pathway Home also removed 30 unsafe, inoperable, and otherwise unlivable RVs from the site, towing them to an impound lot for dismantling or other disposition, with the owner’s consent. Following a comprehensive cleanup, the County is taking steps to prevent the site from being reoccupied.
“RV encampments cannot be resolved by simply posting ‘No Parking’ signs,” said Cheri Todoroff, executive director of Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative within the Chief Executive Office, which is leading Pathway Home. “In East Gardena and West Rancho Dominguez, the County mobilized an all-hands-on-deck response and assembled a package of resources that offered people a way out of the streets and into housing with services.”
The County Homeless Initiative incorporated the RV pilot into Pathway Home to scale it up and fast-track it using emergency powers and other resources. In East Gardena and West Rancho Dominguez, outreach efforts involved partnerships among the County Sheriff’s Department’s Homeless Outreach Services Team (LASD-HOST), the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), St Joseph Center’s Vehicular Homeless Outreach Program (VHOP), and SSG-HOPICS. The County Departments of Public Works, Health Services, Mental Health, Public Health, Fire, and Animal Care and Control also supported the operation, along with the California Department of Motor Vehicles. This was the second Pathway Home operation overall, but the first to focus on housing people in RVs. The County’s earlier RV-focused operations, under the RV pilot, removed several burned and abandoned RVs from public roadways. The first Pathway Home operation in Lennox on August 9 through August 11 brought 50 people inside, mostly from tents.
About Pathway Home
Pathway Home begins with outreach teams developing trusting relationships with people at an encampment, helping them get treatment for immediate medical needs, and offering them immediate and diverse options for interim housing, including partnerships with partner hotels.
Once at interim housing, participants receive supportive services such as on-site case management and connections to physical and mental healthcare, substance use disorder treatment, benefits enrollment, life skills development, and more.
To facilitate their transition to permanent housing, the County will connect participants with housing navigation to help them throughout the lease-up process and time-limited subsidies for individuals whose income is insufficient to cover the rent. Once permanently housed in their own apartment, they can continue to receive supportive services.
After declaring a state of emergency on homelessness in January 2023, the Board of Supervisors authorized efforts to streamline hiring, contracting, purchasing, grants, and real estate processes. This has – and continues to – enable the County to expand, enhance and expedite elements of its homeless services system, giving rise to Pathway Home. Partnerships with local jurisdictions further grow capacity and bring in valuable additional resources.
Pathway Home has also been made possible by Measure H, a voter-approved ¼-cent sales tax that has enabled the County’s homeless services system to grow exponentially over the last six years. Since Measure H passed in 2017, the County has housed 90,500 people – about the population of Santa Monica – sheltered 124,000 people and prevented 22,000 people from becoming homeless.
Previous multi-jurisdictional emergency housing efforts, such as Project Roomkey during the COVID-19 pandemic, have informed the County’s encampment resolution protocols. Over the first phase of the emergency declaration, the County has partnered with the City of Los Angeles on all Inside Safe encampment resolutions, and now will partner with other cities and unincorporated communities through Pathway Home.