Working Together to Ensure Progress
Posted by Councilmember Englander on August 25, 2017 at 10:59 AM
The homelessness crisis in the City of Los Angeles has reached proportions that none of us have previously seen in our lifetimes. Solving this issue will involve commitment from all possible partners working in coordination on many fronts. Neighborhoods FIRST (Fully Integrated Resources & Support Team) is a two-pronged effort that leads with compassion to remove barriers to housing and employment for people currently experiencing homelessness while working to prevent those on the edges from slipping into the homeless population. The second prong aims to improve the tools available to communities to alleviate the impacts of homelessness on neighborhoods.
This week, I rode with the Valley Division of our LAPD HOPE (Homeless Outreach and Proactive Engagement) Team to proactively address the needs of the homeless, while also addressing the needs of the communities and neighborhoods impacted by the drastic increase in homeless activity and related issues.
The HOPE Team’s purpose is to improve the City’s overall response to the complex and diverse needs of unsheltered residents and to support healthy neighborhoods. This approach is aligned with the City’s commitment to expand its first responder programs, to more closely integrate with the County, and to develop stronger links to the Coordinated Entry System under the joint City and County plan to end homelessness. The team works to accomplish this by connecting homeless individuals to appropriate services, responding to neighborhood issues and concerns, and developing strategies for dealing with situations that arise among the unsheltered.
The HOPE Team also works closely with other LAPD officers and the Bureau of Sanitation to triage calls and situations involving homeless individuals or encampments. In such circumstances, the HOPE Team will advise the officers or sanitation workers of available resources or referrals, respond to the location, coordinate patrol personnel, and coordinate outside agency response resources.