New initiative aims to secure permanent supportive housing for homeless population
Los Angeles — In honor of its 20th anniversary, L.A. Care Health Plan today announced a commitment of $20 million – the largest ever in L.A. Care’s 20-year history – to fund an initiative aimed at securing permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals in Los Angeles County. The $20 million grant – distributed over the next five years – will be made to Brilliant Corners, a nonprofit supportive housing agency, to support Los Angeles County’s Housing for Health program.
L.A. Care’s $20 million Community Health Investment Fund contribution also increases the reach of L.A. County’s Whole Person Care pilot. Whole Person Care is a five-year Medi-Cal pilot through which L.A. County will obtain federal matching dollars to provide wraparound services to high-risk Medi-Cal beneficiaries. L.A. Care’s investment in housing allows L.A. County to redirect funds toward these individuals’ other social service needs as part of Whole Person Care, essentially doubling the impact of L.A. Care’s investment amount.
“The homelessness crisis that surrounds us is arguably one of the most pressing social issues we face today in Los Angeles County,” said John Baackes, Chief Executive Officer of L.A. Care. “Further, this issue is directly connected to the health and well-being of those who experience homelessness – many of whom are our members. For that reason, we are pleased to make this funding commitment to our trusted partners who, in turn, help us meet our mission to provide accessible health care to the most vulnerable.”
“With this investment, L.A. Care steps to the forefront of public and private health care organizations that have recognized that health depends among other things on access to stable housing,” said William F. Pickel, Executive Director of Brilliant Corners. “We’re honored to be part of a supportive housing solution that produces measurable housing and health results for thousands of Los Angeles County’s most vulnerable citizens.”
“The Department of Health Services’ Housing for Health Program is honored and grateful to receive this significant financial contribution from L.A. Care. L.A. Care has been a close partner and collaborator with the Department for many years and this grant once again demonstrates their continued commitment toward providing critical assistance to homeless and vulnerable residents of Los Angeles County,” said Dr. Mitchell H. Katz, Director, Department of Health Services. “I truly applaud L.A. Care’s recognition of the importance of stable housing as a necessary component of improved health.”
In recent years, the homelessness rate has skyrocketed in Los Angeles. Simultaneously, the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medi-Cal coverage to traditionally non-eligible adults significantly increased the number of L.A. Care members experiencing homelessness. It is estimated that approximately 60,000 L.A. Care members will experience homelessness over the course of the calendar year.
This $20 million investment, contingent upon Board approval and the availability of funds over the next five years, demonstrates L.A. Care’s continuing collaboration with key L.A. County partners to better serve our local homeless populations.
Housing for Health is a program of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. The program offers permanent supportive housing, housing navigation and supports, connections to primary care, intensive case management, and other resources to people experiencing homelessness who have complex physical and behavioral health conditions.
Through Housing for Health’s partner, Brilliant Corners, L.A. Care’s grant will cover housing costs via the Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool, while Housing for Health covers move-in assistance and wraparound service support. Together, this will ensure a smooth transition from homelessness to housing and, consequently, help improve housing retention rates. In Los Angeles County, in addition to administering the Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool’s growing portfolio of over 1,600 units, Brilliant Corners owns and manages 52 properties providing supportive housing for formerly homeless households and individuals with disabilities.