The Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness (PPTFH) is an independent group of Palisades community volunteers, formed in October 2014, who are committed to compassionately addressing the issues associated with homelessness. PPTFH is open to everyone and firmly believes that sustainable solutions are dependent on the entire community’s participation and support.
Dealing with homelessness is technically the responsibility of the County and City of Los Angeles. Realistically, City and County resources are simply inadequate to meet the increasing demand for community protection and homeless support services. The Palisades recognizes that in order to protect and serve our community as well as our homeless individuals it needs to coordinate with and support city and county efforts.
Taking a research-based approach, PPTFH has developed a three-pronged strategy for addressing homelessness in the Palisades.
Ensure community protection and safety through effective law enforcement.
Connect homeless people to compassionate, professional services and available housing.
Maximize community-wide involvement and support.
The key to making this approach succeed is contracting with the People Concern to provide professional guidance and a dedicated Outreach Team for our community.
The People Concern is the largest provider of housing and comprehensive social services to homeless people on the Westside of Los Angeles County and has recently merged with Lamp, a major service provider in downtown Los Angeles. It has been a model for providing highly effective, integrated and comprehensive services for over 50 years to the most traumatized, vulnerable and needy members of our community, including homeless individuals and victims of domestic violence.
Many homeless people have mental health, addiction and physical health problems that require special knowledge and expertise to manage. Our fire and police personnel have limited expertise in these areas and are already stretched to meet the increasing demand for protective services. Palisades’ residents, businesses and community organizations do not have the expertise or time to deal effectively with these complex and often interconnected challenges. Professional assistance is required to be effective and make progress.
To provide necessary professional assistance, PPTFH funds a full time (five days a week, eight hours a day), specially trained and equipped two-person, Outreach Team from The People Concern. The Outreach Team will go anywhere within the Palisades (into the bluffs, hillsides, streets, alleys and tunnels) to locate, engage, build relationships with and encourage homeless individuals to accept social services and housing. The Outreach Team’s first objective is to survey each homeless person in order to better understand who they are and how best help them. The survey will gather contact, mental/physical health and social history information which is essential for tracking movement, behavior and an understanding of what services are needed.
In addition to locating, engaging and connecting the homeless persons to services, the Outreach Team will provide “on-call, as needed” assistance during their scheduled hours to residents and businesses in their encounters with homeless people. Sometimes the police are legally prohibited from taking action or are occupied with other assignments. The Outreach Team will be especially helpful in these situations and can remain on site to fully assist with resolving the incident.
The cost of a full-time, two-person Outreach Team is $200,000 per year. Included are costs associated with workers compensation, insurance, supplies and equipment. Also included are funds to cover “move-in” expenses for our homeless people upon their entry into housing.
Since City and County resources are generally unavailable, PPTFH needs to raise the funds from the community and contract directly with The People Concern for the team’s services.
The People Concern will continue to work with our homeless people and provide the services they need to heal, stabilize, and prepare to enter housing. Once housed, The People Concern will remain with the person as long as necessary to help him/her successfully remain housed. Key services include housing, mental and physical health care, domestic violence services, substance abuse treatment and assistance in obtaining income. For more information about this process, please see our Progress Report.
Homelessness is an extremely complex, long-standing problem and there are no easy answers or quick fixes. PPTFH is currently implementing its strategy which is successfully addressing homelessness in our community. This plan emphasizes community safety, managing and eliminating blight and understanding and compassionately, respectfully working with our homeless persons to help them help themselves. The plan’s ultimate success is dependent upon the effectiveness of our Outreach Team from The People Concern and supportive community collaboration.
While homelessness continues to present difficult challenges, PPTFH has made strides and is already seeing results. We pride ourselves on a data-based strategy and recommend viewing our Progress Report for more details.
We not only welcome, but also need, the support and input of the entire community. The best ways you can help and get involved are:
Join PPTFH – Attend meetings and volunteer. You can reach us at email@example.com
Donate – Help PPTFH raise funds to pay for The People Concern’s Outreach Team.
Speak Up – Talk to others in our community about the importance of connecting homeless people to supportive services and using outreach teams to bring the services to them.