Foundation Starts Drive to End Homelessness

Foundation Starts Drive to End Homelessness LOS ANGELES, CA - Supporting an initiative by the Los Angeles Business Leaders Task Force on Homelessness to end chronic and veteran homelessness in Los Angeles County within five years, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation today announced $13 million in grants to fund key components of the campaign. The grants include: $9 million to catalyze the creation of 2,500 new permanent supportive housing units; $3.6 million to identify and house 4,500 of the most vulnerable people on the streets; $330,000 for an innovative pilot program to ease the transition into housing; and $200,000 to engage faith leaders and communities in the campaign.

"The Hilton Foundation has been championing solutions for long term homelessness for two decades and we have learned that permanent supportive housing is the most cost effective and successful," says Steven M. Hilton, president and CEO of the Hilton Foundation. "This approach restores stability, autonomy and dignity and helps the individual integrate back into the community."

Permanent supportive housing combines affordable housing with on-site comprehensive services such as mental health treatment, substance abuse prevention, employment opportunities, and life training. Studies in Los Angeles show that it is 40 percent less costly to place someone in permanent supportive housing than to leave them on the streets. Further, the costs decrease over time. National studies reveal that chronically homeless people—18 percent of the overall homeless population—consume 64 percent of homeless system resources.

Since 2004, the Hilton Foundation has provided more than $20 million in grants and loans to increase access to supportive housing in Los Angeles, resulting in the development of more than 2,300 units and initiating the establishment of the $30 million Los Angeles Supportive Housing Loan Fund.

Over the past year, the Hilton Foundation provided funding for the creation of the Los Angeles Business Leaders Task Force on Homelessness and its Home for Good Action Plan. The task force has been led by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and United Way of Greater Los Angeles. Primary strategies of the plan are to engage all public and private stakeholders, target and reallocate existing resources and coordinate public, private, local and national funding systems to work together and better use resources.

The new Hilton Foundation grants include $9 million to Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), given over three years, to spur the creation of 2,500 new permanent supportive housing units through a mix of lending, grantmaking, training, technical assistance to nonprofits and government, and coordination and alignment of public systems. CSH will focus on homeless veterans and other vulnerable homeless people who are cycling through institutions such as emergency rooms, jails, prisons, and foster care. CSH also will have access to another $6 million in loan funds awarded earlier by the Hilton Foundation to catalyze construction of additional permanent supportive housing.

$3.6 million in grants will go to five organizations over three years to house the most vulnerable homeless persons in Los Angeles County. Common Ground will receive $600,000 to work with community leaders and organizations to survey, identify and house 4,500 of the most vulnerable persons living on the streets or in shelters. Four organizations will receive $750,000 each for local efforts to move people from the streets into permanent housing – Mental Health America in downtown Long Beach, St. Joseph Center in Venice, Skid Row Housing Trust in downtown Los Angeles and Step Up on Second in Hollywood.

The Downtown Women's Center will receive $330,000 over two years to implement Critical Time Intervention, an innovative program of intensive services for 80 chronically homeless women to help them transition into permanent housing. This will be the first time the program has been implemented in Los Angeles although it has been effective elsewhere. PATH Partners has been awarded $200,000 over two years to engage and mobilize the diverse faith leaders and communities in Los Angeles County to advocate for policies and programs to end homelessness.

"This campaign is a great step forward to eradicating long term homelessness in our home town," notes Hilton, "and we are proud to participate as a funder and advocate and to encourage others to join us. Making a difference in the lives of vulnerable people is our core mission and there could be no greater way to fulfill this mandate than to help our neighbors find homes, medical and other services and, most of all, hope."

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world's disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in five priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance abuse, caring for vulnerable children, and extending Conrad Hilton's support for the work of Catholic Sisters. Following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $1.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. From its inception through 2009, the Foundation awarded nearly $900 million in grants, distributing $80 million in 2009. The Foundation's current assets are approximately $2 billion.
Source: Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

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