Last month, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) launched a new, easy-to-use website – the Los Angeles Homeless Outreach Portal (LA-HOP.org) to help make it easier to request coordinated county services for homeless individuals who need specific kinds of assistance.
In the past, residents could contact any of several services and agencies, including LAHSA, People Assisting the Homeless (PATH), or others, to seek specific kinds of services from each of those several organizations. But thanks to funding from the recent Measure HHH, a variety of services are now accessible from a single entry point.
If you encounter a homeless individual who needs help, just go to la-hop.org and click the big red “Get Started” button.
From there, you will be taken to a page that outlines which kinds of help and services are available through the Portal, and which are not. In short, according to the information page, LA-HOP outreach workers and teams can:
- help individuals navigate homeless services options
- provide mental health first aid
- perform “motivational interviewing“
- …and provide expertise on physical health, mental health and substance abuse.
Responders will work to build relationships with individuals, determine their individual needs and provide individually targeted services…for everything from obtaining an ID card to ongoing medical and mental health needs…and, ultimately, finding permanent housing.
Please note, though, that there are still situations in which LA-HOP.org should NOT be used. These include medical or mental health emergencies (call 911), to report crime or illegal activity (call 911 for emergencies, or 1-877-ASK-LAPD for non-emergency disptach), bulky item pickup (call 311 or use the MyLA311 app), illegal dumping or graffiti removal (311 or MyLA311 again), or for clearing large homeless camps.
Also, if you encounter a family with minor children experiencing homelessness, they should call 211 and ask to be connected to the Coordinated Entry System for Families.
Finally, according to the LA-HOP site, please note that individuals must currently be living on the street to qualify for LA-HOP services. People who are currently “couch surfing, temporarily living with friends or family, at risk of homelessness, or already staying in a homeless shelter” are NOT eligible.