Caring for Our Friends Experiencing Homelessness.
Los Angeles is known as the homeless capital of the United States. In 2013 approximately 40,000 were experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County. Of this number 5,000 are Veterans and 10,000 are chronically homeless. Pacific Presbytery, in partnership with First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood and PATH ,People Assisting the Homeless, has been exploring new paradigms for addressing root causes of homelessness. We are focused in three areas: 1) Housing First, 2) Compassionate Care, and 3) Connecting with Social Service Providers.
Vote YES on Proposition HHH! If you are a resident in the city of Los Angeles, you will see Prop HHH on the ballot asking for your vote for a bond measure that would supply an additional 10,000 units of Permanent Supportive Housing. This measure has been officially endorsed by the Interfaith Religious Council, where our own Rev. Linda Culbertson sits representing the Pacific Presbytery regionally. Details here…
A broad consortium of social service providers in LA County have been networking and streamlining their services in unprecedented ways in the last few years, with the goal to end chronic and veteran homelessness in LA County by 2016. This effort is called “Home for Good” and places people in housing first, building services around the individual who is placed in housing.
More than anything, what people everywhere need, but especially people experiencing the poverty and violence of life on the streets, is the love of Christ incarnated through loving acts of service and community. Our churches provide this gift like no other non-profit can.
Connect to Social Service Agencies
In the past, churches have primarily partnered with social service agencies by funding and providing necessary supplies, such as canned food, etc. While these needs will always be present, social service agencies are seeking new ways to connect with churches:
a. Working with outreach workers at PATH (People Assisting the Homeless) to move chronically homeless people into housing.
b. Move-in kits. Providing furniture, help in moving, etc. to someone who is receiving housing after years on the streets.
c. Becoming trained in Coordinated Entry Services. For churches working with significant numbers of people off the streets, becoming trained to do assessments puts chronically homeless into the streamlined housing first system, which allows them quicker access to housing.
d. Adopting someone who has been newly placed in housing. For people who are being placed in housing for the first time, they often feel isolated and alienated from their friends on the streets. A church can “adopt” a newly housed person and become a community of light and hope to them.