Supporting an initiative to end chronic and veteran homelessness in Los Angeles County within five years, the Conrad Hilton Foundation announced Wednesday a gift of $13 million in grants to fund key components of the campaign.
The grants include: $9 million for the creation of 2,500 new permanent supportive housing units; $3.6 million to identify 4,500 of the most vulnerable people on the streets and provide housing; $330,000 for an innovative pilot program to ease the transition into housing; and $200,000 to engage faith leaders and communities in the campaign.
“The Hilton Foundation has been championing solutions for long term homelessness for two decades and we have learned that permanent supportive housing is the most cost effective and successful,” says Steven M. Hilton, president and CEO of the Hilton Foundation. “This approach restores stability, autonomy and dignity and helps the individual integrate back into the community.”
This approach combines affordable housing with on-site services such as mental health treatment, substance abuse prevention, employment opportunities, and life training.
Studies in Los Angeles show that it is 40 percent less costly to place someone in this type of supportive housing than to leave them on the streets. Further, the costs decrease over time. National studies reveal that chronically homeless people—18 percent of the overall homeless population—consume 64 percent of homeless system resources.
Since 2004, the Hilton Foundation has provided more than $20 million in grants and loans for such efforts in Los Angeles, resulting in the development of more than 2,300 units and the creation of the $30 million Los Angeles Supportive Housing Loan Fund.
Getting local businesses involved is part of the strategy for success. The Hilton Foundation provided funding for the creation of the Los Angeles Business Leaders Task Force on Homelessness. The task force has been led by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and United Way of Greater Los Angeles.
The new plans will also focus on homeless veterans who are cycling through institutions such as shelters emergency rooms, and jails.
“This campaign is a great step forward to eradicating long term homelessness in our home town,” notes Hilton, “and there could be no greater way to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors than to help vulnerable people find homes, medical and other services and, most of all, hope.”
Learn more at HiltonFoundation.org.