L.A. Care Health Plan Awards a Half Million Dollars to Help Families Stay in Their Homes

Funding to bolster the efforts of four legal aid agencies

LOS ANGELES - L.A. Care Health Plan, the largest publicly-operated health plan in the country, has launched the Housing Stability Initiative. Under the initiative, the health plan awarded four grants worth a total of $500,000 to agencies who offer free legal services to low-income individuals and families. L.A. Care has two million Medi-Cal members, many of whom could be at-risk of eviction.

The grant awardees will offer pre-eviction counseling, landlord negotiation, and will even represent people in court when needed.

With 59,000 people on the streets, we are facing a homelessness crisis in L.A. County, and everything points to it worsening if we don’t act in every way possible now,” said John Baackes, L.A. Care CEO.  “Housing is directly tied to health, so we want to do all we can to keep our members and other families in their homes.”

L.A. Care recognizes that there is no silver bullet when it comes to solving homelessness, and this initiative is just one of many steps the health plan has taken to address the growing number of people living on the street. Other steps include a $20 million commitment that benefits the county’s Housing for Health program, the lease of 16-beds as part of a recuperative care pilot, and a Homeless Health Summit that brought together 70 health care leaders to develop an action plan to influence policy on homelessness.

The four agencies that are each receiving a $125,000 grant from this L.A. Care initiative are:

The cost of legal representation has been shown to be far less expensive than the potential costs of eviction. Evictions contribute to extreme economic hardship and homelessness, and in turn, to poor health outcomes. Giving people the legal tools needed to fight eviction will give them a fighting chance at a healthy life.