Strategy on the Streets: Improving LAHSA’s Outreach Program

2019 Lahsa

Strategy on the Streets: Improving Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s Outreach Program

Homelessness by the Numbers

  • According to the 2019 Homeless Count results, homelessness is up 12% in L.A. County and 16% citywide.
  • L.A. reported 42,500 unsheltered people — the highest number in the U.S.
  • There are only 15,600 shelter beds, but only 80% are filled on a given night.
  • One in four homeless individuals suffer from serious mental illness and one in seven have a substance abuse disorder.
  • African Americans (19,000) and Latinos (20,504) represent 70% of the homeless population.
  • In 2018, 918 homeless people died on the streets — a 76% increase from 2014.

Photo / Los Angeles Homelessness Services Authority


The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) — a City-County joint powers authority — is the lead agency for homelessness in the region.

LAHSA is governed by a 10-member commission appointed by both the City of Los Angeles (Mayor and City Council) and County of Los Angeles (Board of Supervisors), and operates with a $300 million annual budget comprised of federal, State, County and City funds. For the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the City of Los Angeles allocated $35 million to LAHSA.


  • Implementing a coordinated entry system to connect homeless people to housing and services.
  • Administering data collection and performance measurement.
  • Coordinating and performing street outreach to connect people to organizations.

LAHSA did not achieve five of its City outreach goals in FY 2018-2019.


  • 6,634 people contacted (Goal: 6,500)
  • 5,710 direct services provided (86% — better than 85% goal)
  • 4,199 coordinated entry system assessments (63% — better than 50% goal)

Not achieved:

  • 20% of people engaged referred to bridge housing (Actual: 598 people, 14% success)
  • 10% of people engaged moved to permanent supportive housing (Actual: 167 people, 4% success)
  • 25% of people engaged with substance abuse problems referred to treatment (Actual: 39 people, 6% success)
  • 25% of people engaged with mental health conditions connected to services (Actual: 56 people, 4% success)
  • 95% of data quality in Homeless Management Information System (Not represented in chart; no outcomes reported)

To address LAHSA’s achievement gaps, Controller Ron Galperin offers the following recommendations:

  • Create “HomeSTAT,” a statistically-driven performance management system that would fundamentally reshape LAHSA’s outreach program by using real-time data on homelessness to evaluate performance and make informed decisions about resource allocation.
  • Work with City and County partners to define a unified set of clear and consistent goals, specific metrics and accurate reporting on outreach activities throughout the greater L.A. area.
  • Focus on a proactive outreach strategy to reach a greater number of homeless people for the first time.
  • Enhance LAHSA transparency and accountability by geo-based mapping of outreach activities.

Read the full report and recommendations below.