Ross Housing/Homelessness Q3
As a public health and community health-minded leader in philanthropy, I doubt I have any new insights to share on the affordable housing crisis. But the civic conversation on homelessness is missing one key, critical element: our society and our region are manufacturing homeless persons faster than our ability to house them. LA City and LA County managed to newly house more homeless persons last year since these counts have been documented; but the number of people on the streets rose significantly anyway.
We will need to focus more intently on “going upstream” with our homelessness strategies: expanded community-based mental health supports & drug treatment, wrap-around services for foster care youth “aging out” of the system, and careful, coordinated “discharge planning” services for people released from jail — too many newly released persons from county jails are being released right into homelessness. We have got to pinch the homelessness pipeline upstream.