L.A. County Launches First-of-its-Kind Online Portal to Address Street Homelessness

Homeless encampments are set up along a number of streets in city of Los Angeles. Photo by Keyang Pang

LOS ANGELES—Today, the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative and Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority launched the Los Angeles Homeless Outreach Portal, dubbed LA-HOP, the new Countywide Web-based portal that channels outreach support to people experiencing homelessness.  Funded by Measure H, the mobile-friendly platform empowers members of the general public, first responders and service providers to provide information on homeless persons on the street and request outreach.

LA-HOP (la-hop.org) is a valuable new tool to get services to vulnerable residents living on the street.  It makes it easier and more efficient for the public to request help and have it dispatched to connect homeless persons with outreach workers.  The portal takes the guesswork out of figuring out geographic boundaries, by seamlessly routing requests and tracking the response.  An outreach coordinator in each region serves as the “air traffic controller” for all requests and deploys the most appropriate outreach team, with the goal of reducing response times to those in need.

The Countywide movement to prevent and combat homelessness is constantly seeking new approaches to deliver what’s working more effectively.  LA-HOP is designed to advance efforts to help people move from homelessness to housing by activating the general public to become part of the solution.

LA-HOP was designed by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Health Agency and the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative.  Due to high demand, it may take a few days for an outreach team to be deployed; coordinators will prioritize those individuals who are most vulnerable. With nearly 40,000 people living on the streets of LA County, the need for outreach services is great.

Outreach teams responding to LA-HOP requests also conduct ongoing outreach all across the County. The portal does not replace homeless encampment reporting protocols established by the City of Los Angeles (my311), the County of Los Angeles and other jurisdictions.

Supervisors herald the new online tool in the fight against homelessness

“This website is an important new addition to the many ways in which county, city, nonprofits and community leaders are working together to reduce homelessness,” said Board Chair Sheila Kuehl. “It gives the public a way to directly seek help for men, women and families experiencing homelessness. No single solution is a magic bullet, but each step we take gets us closer to our goal of making sure that every man, woman and child in L.A. County has a home.”

“LA-HOP is a powerful tool to directly target resources and outreach to people experiencing homelessness,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “By efficiently routing support and empowering the public, this new Measure H-funded web portal will be an important part of our effort to quickly help the most vulnerable members of our society.”

“With just a few taps on a cell phone, LA-HOP makes it easier to request help for people experiencing homelessness on the streets of L.A. County,” Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said. “This innovative tool will help us deploy our street outreach teams where they are most needed, so they can begin building relationships with our homeless neighbors and offer to connect them to services and housing.”

“There are plenty of people in L.A. County who come across a person struggling with homelessness and don’t know what to do to get them help,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “LA-HOP is an innovative tool that makes it easy for the public to request help for people in need anywhere in L.A. County.  If this homelessness crisis has proven anything, it is that our county is full of compassionate, caring people and this online portal allows them to be part of the solution.”

“LA-HOP provides a quick and easy way for residents to be a part of the solution to help combat homelessness by connecting homeless individuals to critical supportive services,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger.   “With this portal, we get real-time information about where homeless individuals are, allowing us to connect them to resources more quickly and efficiently.”

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