Los Angeles County hosted its second Pathway Home Service Connect Day for residents who moved from their recreational vehicle (RV) encampments into interim housing following an encampment resolution operation in unincorporated East Gardena bordering West Rancho Dominguez.
Led by the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative and the County Department of Health Services (DHS)-Housing for Health, Service Connect Day is essentially a one-stop-shop for Pathway Home participants to sign up for various essential programs and services that they may need or want, such as physical and mental healthcare, substance use disorder treatment, benefits enrollment, life skills development, and more. The event is conveniently held at the motel serving as their interim housing, operated by the County’s nonprofit partner, St. Joseph Center.
“This service connection model is a relatively new model,” said DHS Housing for Health’s Matthew Tecle. “It was piloted recently after the County realized that it was very challenging for folks to access our services one-off. And so, what was envisioned was an opportunity to come together to provide all of these services in one fell swoop for the whole of the population that have come indoors at one moment.”
“Everybody has a whole bunch of needs right now — they’ve got medical needs, they’ve got employment needs, people have disabilities and they have access and functional needs so the all of the services that the County government can bring to the table, we’re bringing to the table,” said Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative Senior Manager Carter Hewgley.
Pathway Home program participants, Yolanda Macias and Candice Chandler, shared how connecting to housing and services is helping to get their lives back on track. Macias aspires to be a chef, and Chandler aims to resume training to become a registered nurse.
During Service Connect Day, dozens of Pathway Home participants engaged with the following County departments, as well as nonprofit service providers:
- Department of Animal Care and Control
- DHS-Housing for Health for primary, specialized and behavioral health care services, and to enroll for Social Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
- Department of Mental Health for support services and access to outpatient mental health treatment, including the Veterans Peer Access Network (VPAN) which helps veterans navigate often complicated systems so they can receive necessary mental health, substance abuse, employment, healthcare, education, legal, and housing services;
- Department of Public Health for substance use disorder treatment
- Department of Public Social Services for enrollment in General Relief, CalFresh and Medi-Cal programs as well as free tablets and cell phones
- Department of Consumer and Business Affairs-Office of Immigrant Affairs for a variety of services for documented and undocumented immigrants
- Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to assist veterans in establishing benefits on the State or federal level, including enrollment in VA healthcare; and
- Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk
Los Angeles County’s Pathway Home program helps people transition from encampments into interim housing and then provides them with supportive services on their way to permanent housing.