This paper uses data collected by Street Outreach services during FY2018-19 from 37,000 unsheltered individuals to address a request by the Commission of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to answer important questions about service needs for unsheltered individuals, whether differences exist in housing enrollments for unsheltered individuals between race and ethnic groups, and the prevalence of serious mental illness (SMI) among the unsheltered population.
CPL found that 17% of all Street Outreach clients were enrolled in interim housing, rapid re-housing, or permanent supportive housing within one year of enrollment in Street Outreach. Although CPL could not directly measure the overall prevalence of SMI in the unsheltered population, this analysis provides a lower bound estimate of SMI prevalence for this population by linking LA County Department of Mental Health (DMH) service records to Street Outreach data. Twenty percent of Street Outreach clients had a clinical diagnosis of SMI within the previous twelve years. Street Outreach clients with clinical diagnoses of SMI were more likely to be placed into interim housing, rapid re-housing, or permanent supportive housing than clients without observed DMH service history.
Photo credit: Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority