San Gabriel Council of Governments expands social services
BY KEVORK KURDOGHLIAN, on behalf of the city of Baldwin Park
The San Gabriel Council of Governments and Los Angeles Centers for Alcohol and Drug Abuse, in partnership with Baldwin Park, South El Monte and other San Gabriel Valley cities, this month began implementing the Services to Supplement Existing Homeless Services Program.
The program will address and supplement the existing gaps in the region’s homeless services system, with a focus on connecting hard-to-reach persons experiencing homeless to health services and housing. The services will include:
- Street Outreach
- Housing Navigation
- Mental Health Support
- Case Management
- Homeless Prevention and Problem Solving and Supportive Services
“We have made great strides as a City and region in reducing homelessness and this new regional partnership will bring Baldwin Park and our San Gabriel Valley city neighbors much closer to our goal of ending homelessness in our region,” said Baldwin Park Mayor Emmanuel J. Estrada. “We are proud to be partnering with the SGVCOG and L.A. CADA to better serve the traditionally hard-to-reach persons experiencing homelessness in and around Baldwin Park.”
In July 2021, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors allocated $3.525 million in Measure H funds to the SGVCOG based on the San Gabriel Valley region’s 2020 point-in-time homeless count numbers. The SGVCOG then identified service gaps in regional homeless services that led them to select L.A. CADA, which will have access to $1.2 million of the SGVCOG’s allocation through June 2023 to implement the program.
“The SGVCOG is very excited to be launching this program in partnership with Baldwin Park and South El Monte, as well as other cities in the San Gabriel Valley. This program will bring three multidisciplinary teams staffed by L.A. CADA to the region, to provide comprehensive outreach and engagement services to help support and house persons experiencing homelessness in the San Gabriel Valley,” said SGVCOG President and Monrovia Mayor Becky Shevlin. “Under this unique regional approach, each multidisciplinary team will support a unique cohort of cities, helping cities to work together to address homelessness as the multi-jurisdictional issue that it is. We look forward to seeing the success of this program in Baldwin Park and South El Monte and throughout the region.”
With access to and support from specialized staff, this partnership represents the first time the region will be able to reliably contact the region’s hard-to-reach homeless population, especially those living on streets, under bridges and in parks. With a trauma-informed, recovery-oriented approach, L.A. CADA will implement consistent outreach, engagement and treatment efforts to improve outcomes for persons experiencing homelessness.
“L.A. CADA’s outreach is a consistent, persistent and compassionate approach to assist persons experiencing homelessness,” said Joshua Heinzman, a program manager with L.A. CADA.
The program includes 12.2 full-time equivalent specialized staff members within three teams serving six cohorts of cities throughout the region. Each team will have two full-time equivalent staff permanently assigned to serve their cohort with the remaining staff providing support to each team, depending on the needs of homeless individuals within the region.
“Working with L.A. CADA to provide these frontline outreach services for our homeless clients will be a welcomed addition to the services we currently provide,” said City of South El Monte Interim City Manager Rene Salas.
L.A. CADA will host kick-off meetings with each cohort to design a consistent schedule that ensures adequate coverage to each city within the region. The service schedules will outline general outreach days and times as well as focused times spent on specific follow-up requests and appointments. As part of the partnership, L.A. CADA will be responsible for meeting quarterly implementation metrics.
To learn more about the enhanced supplemental services, visit sgvcog.org/homelessness.