Many positive changes have been made around homelessness in Los Angeles.
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation recently published a report detailing the results of its $8 million initiative with Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) from 2004-2010 to seed systems change to help end chronic homelessness in Los Angeles County. The report, Mobilizing Los Angeles County to End Chronic Homelessness, is part of the Foundation’s “In Practice” knowledge series and was authored by national homelessness expert, Martha Burt, who served as evaluator of the initiative. It outlines many positive changes around homelessness in Los Angeles, including: heightened public awareness of the issue, increased accountability and coordination among key stakeholders, and an expanded supply of supportive housing.
Of particular interest to other foundations may be the report’s discussion of the “Elements of Success” – the essential elements to which the Hilton Foundation attributes the success of its homelessness work to date. These elements include:
- Using a lead agency (in this case, CSH) that is independent, competent, and respected
- Facilitating local government agencies working together
- Building local capacity for supportive housing development and operations
- Expanding funding sources and levels continually
- Bringing in new constituencies, developing multiple points of influence
Based in part on the lessons of this initiative, in 2010, the Hilton Foundation board approved a more comprehensive strategy to further the Foundation’s commitment to ending homelessness in Los Angeles County, pledging to grant up to $50 million over the next five years and to use the Foundation’s voice to push systems change for long-term solutions.
Bill Pitkin oversees the planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s domestic priority areas. He also serves on the Funders Together Board.