The CoC Initiatives: Reducing Homelessness in Long Beach, California
By Dr. Albert Ngo and Dr. Elaine Nguyen, March 10, 2020
On March 10th, 2020, Dr. Albert Ngo and Dr. Elaine Nguyen from American University of Health Silences (AUHS) attended the Long Beach Continuum of Care Board Meeting (CoC) for reducing homelessness in Long Beach, California at Multi-Service Center.
Homelessness is a societal, economic problem in Long Beach (LB) CA. According to the Point-in-Time count, there are 1,894 and 58,936 people experiencing homelessness in LB and Los Angeles County, respectively, in 2019. In this perspective, reducing homelessness and increasing the number of affordable housing are among the top priorities of the City of LB.
Since 1995, The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has successfully funded the Long Beach, CA continuum of Care (CoC), whose mission is to reduce homelessness and to coordinate housing of people experiencing homelessness in the city of LB. The LB CoC comprises multiple- Services Centers and works with private partners, organizations to give hope and provide permanent supportive housing to local people experiencing homeless.
In that perspective, the LB CoC hosted his Board meeting on March 10th, 2020. Board members consisted of members and board members of the Long Beach Continuum of Care. Among the topics discussed, the Long Beach Justice Lab team presented on the new initiatives designed to break the cycle of incarceration. The two initiatives they presented were: 1) Citywide Data Agreement and 2) Clinician in Jail. The Citywide Data Agreement allows for the team to focus on homelessness by partnering with community partners and identify where there is a disconnect when homeless individuals go from one setting to another (ex. Jail system to Health care). The team is working on sharing data between the Police Department, Firefighters, Healthcare Partners, and making the data available Live. The Clinician in Jail program successfully enrolled 21 clients into the MDT Family by conducting a Pre-Release screening of those in the City Jail. The clinician had 1000 interactions with the individuals and saw 900 unique clients. 95% of those clients were referred to the Multi-Center.
After the presentation, the CoC board shared performance measures. There are 7 Performance Measures total to see how the CoC is performing. Those performance measures include: Measure 1 (M1), the Length of Time Persons remains Homeless; M2, returns to homelessness; M3, the PIT count; M4, Employment and income Growth in CoC funded Programs; M5, Numbers of persons experiencing Homelessness for the First Time; M6 person age 18 or older increase non-employment; M7 Successful Placement in or Retention of Permanent Housing.
The CoC Board elected a new Board Member with Higher Education credentials who can provide information on how schools are serving their student population. The CoC Board had a brief discussion around how they should evaluate the new applicants in Summer 2020. Ranking and weightage will be discussed amongst the board members before that. LB CoC will release the proposal process in June/July 2020 for agencies/organizations that are interested in applying.
In conclusion, the City of Long Beach is actively working with community stakeholders as well as private partners to end homelessness in Long Beach, CA.
American University of Health Sciences (AUHS), a private Christian-based, minority-serving university of higher education, welcomes students of diverse backgrounds and prepares them to make a positive impact on society through the provision of exceptional quality patient-centered care within the context of a global perspective of the human condition.
AUHS recognizes its critical role in community development and social health service through our Christian Values. As a university, we acknowledge that institutional success is defined in large part by what students give back to society, and how students make a difference beyond the four walls of the classroom. As a University, we impress upon all graduates the need for a higher mission based on our Christian Values that encompasses the noble privilege of community service and the need for improving the quality of healthcare in our society through both provision of care and scholarly study of the impact of that care.