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L. A. County Launches ‘Pathway Home’ Program for Encampments

August 16, 2023

LCCN Staff Report

Los Angeles County has launched Pathway Home, a “major expansion” of its efforts to resolve encampments, with an operation in unincorporated Lennox that helped 59 people move inside.

Pathway Home begins with outreach teams developing trusting relationships with people at an encampment, helping them get treatment for immediate medical needs, and offering them immediate and diverse options for interim housing.

The Pathway Home encampment resolution program, which includes recreational vehicles or RVs, is just one component of the ongoing, multi-pronged response to the homelessness crisis launched under the emergency declared by the Board of Supervisors in January.

The program, which will roll out in other communities of L.A. County in the months ahead, will partner closely with local jurisdictions.

The first Pathway Home encampment resolution, in unincorporated Lennox, took place from August 9 through August 11 and was conducted in collaboration with the Office of Supervisor Holly Mitchell along with officials serving Lennox and the Cities of Inglewood and Hawthorne.

This operation focused on a cluster of longstanding encampments — including one dubbed “The Dead End”— beside or beneath the 405 Freeway, near Los Angeles International Airport. In all, 59 people were supported to come indoors, 50 of whom chose to move into a hotel administered through Pathway Home, while nine others entered other forms of interim housing.

Pathway Home also supported housing 26 pets, the removal of seven RVs, and the cleanup and removal of tents, trash and other items from the site.

The launch of Pathway Home comes as the County is also partnering with the City of Los Angeles on its own encampment resolution program, Inside Safe.

“Pathway Home is part of an urgent mobilization that reflects an all-hands-on deck approach to scale up and fast-track proven solutions to reduce unsheltered homelessness,” said Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative Director Cheri Todoroff, whose team within the Chief Executive Office coordinated the operation.

Supervisors cheered the launch of Pathway Home, which will help people living on the streets come indoors by offering them more diverse options for interim housing along with wraparound services, with the goal of helping them achieve stability and ultimately move into permanent housing.

“The homelessness crisis requires an urgent and singular focus on getting every person —  regardless of how they are living on the streets — connected to long-term housing and the supportive services they need to stay housed. I am proud that the County’s RV Encampment Pilot is one of the key components of Pathway Home. This is critical for our unincorporated communities that remain heavily impacted by vehicular homelessness,” said Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, 2nd District. “By centralizing the County’s homelessness outreach and solutions under one umbrella so key partners across County departments and city jurisdictions are working together with the power of the emergency order, Pathway Home can help us significantly address this crisis.”

After declaring a state of emergency on homelessness in January 2023, the Board of Supervisors authorized efforts to streamline hiring, contracting, purchasing, grants, and real estate processes. This enabled the County to expand, enhance and expedite elements of its homeless services system, giving rise to Pathway Home. Partnerships with local jurisdictions further grow capacity and bring in valuable additional resources.

Pathway Home has also been made possible by Measure H, a voter-approved ¼-cent sales tax that has enabled the County’s homeless services system to grow exponentially over the last six years. Since Measure H passed in 2017, the County has housed 90,500 people – about the population of Santa Monica – sheltered 124,000 people and prevented 22,000 people from becoming homeless.