Homeless authority cites success in 100-day challenge to reduce youth homelessness

LOS ANGELES –  The just-concluded 100-Day Challenge placed 257 young people between the ages of 18 and 25 in Los Angeles County in safe and stable housing, well above the projected goal of 100. A total of 206 of the young people were placed in permanent housing, while the remaining 51 are in transitional housing and on their way to securing permanent housing.


“Thanks to the incredible efforts of our partner agencies and own staff, many formerly homeless youth will spend the holidays off the street and in their own homes,” said Peter Lynn, executive director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, or LAHSA. “LA’s success meeting the Challenge demonstrates the effectiveness of our work to house youth experiencing homelessness, and our ability to use resources invested.”


Geographical data from the eight Service Planning Areas (SPAs) in LA County indicate that the greatest number of these youth (101) resided in SPA 4, which includes downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood. The second highest number (45) were in the San Fernando Valley.


The vast majority of the those housed are between 21 and 25 years of age. More than half (53 percent) are female.


According to the 2016 homeless count, there are 3,540 homeless youth – sheltered and unsheltered – in the Los Angeles Continuum of Care, which includes all LA County cities with the exception of Glendale, Long Beach, and Pasadena.


Raji Shivshanker, Youth CES Regional Coordinator, SPA 3 for Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services said that although the challenge exceeded expectations, more must be done.


“We need adequate funding for housing navigation, outreach and retention services,” she said, “as well as probably the most important: More housing resources.”


The 100-Day Challenge was launched by A Way Home America, a national initiative to build the movement to end homelessness among young people. Austin, Cleveland, and Los Angeles County were the three communities selected by the organization to participate.


In its application, LA County committed to place at least 100 youth in safe and stable housing in 100 days.


The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority is a joint powers authority of the City and County of Los Angeles, created in 1993 to address the problems of homelessness in Los Angeles County.