Los Angeles Business Journal

Headway on Homelessness

OP-ED: Home for Good program’s reliance on sound business practices helps deliver gains on chronic problem. By Jerry Neuman and Chris Carey Monday, August 26, 2013

Remarkable coalition

At the same time, a remarkable coalition of thoughtful and innovative Home for Good partners has advanced our region’s capacity to coordinate and cooperate, once viewed as nonexistent in Washington, to the point where it is now touted by federal officials as a model. This year, the Department of Veterans Affairs allocated more vouchers to help bring L.A.’s homeless veterans home than ever before. At the same time, a Home for Good “boot camp” sparked a coordinated approach that reduced the waiting time for veterans seeking permanent supportive housing by more than half.

With other partners, we’ve just created comprehensive Standards of Excellence that will spawn uniform procedures and practices of the highest value throughout the homeless sector and provide accountability toward true results in ending homelessness and a spotlight on those practices that merely maintain those who unfortunately live on the streets of our community.

All these systemic changes will make a big difference. But they are not enough. More municipalities should join the Home for Good campaign through the Funders Collaborative and adopting the Coordinated Entry System. Businesses must support the Funders Collaborative; those who find a direct donation difficult can organize a team to participate in United Way’s Home Walk this fall (Home Walk proceeds go directly into the collaborative). Volunteers can help with community-based outreach, urge local leaders to use Home for Good resources and join Home Walk.

Halfway home is good, but not good enough – there is more to do. When you join us, Home for Good will end chronic and veteran homelessness in all our neighborhoods. That’s not just good business, it’s good for business.

Jerry Neuman, an attorney at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, and Chris Carey, chief financial officer of City National Bank, co-chair the Los Angeles Business Leaders Task Force on Homelessness.

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