New partnership between LAPD, LAHSA and Sanitation will target encampments to proactively connect homeless residents to services while maintaining healthy and safe streets and sidewalks
LOS ANGELES – (RealEstateRama) — As part of the City’s continued effort to leverage every available resource to tackle homelessness, Mayor Eric Garcetti was joined today by Councilmember Nury Martinez and first responders to unveil a new program that helps keep streets and sidewalks healthy and safe for all Angelenos.
The Homeless Outreach and Proactive Engagement (HOPE) initiative pairs specially trained LAPD officers with outreach workers to proactively identify homeless encampments and connect residents to services in real time. Working closely with the city’s Sanitation Department, the HOPE teams will bring homeless individuals access to the resources and help they need, and ensure that neighborhood streets and sidewalks are kept clean.
“Los Angeles is taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to solving our homelessness crisis. The HOPE initiative is an innovative and powerful example of how we are serving residents by working collaboratively with City and County departments,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Our first responders — whether they are police officers or outreach workers — interact directly with L.A.’s homeless population on a daily basis. HOPE serves as a homelessness ‘super team.’ Our teams are sharing data to better target their outreach to homeless Angelenos — and coordinated community cleanups — to ensure the health and safety of our neighborhoods, while getting our most vulnerable the help they need.”
Launched as a pilot in the San Fernando Valley this past May, L.A.’s HOPE teams have already responded to more than 1,300 homeless encampment service requests — an average of more than 400 per month. As a result of their efforts, more than 500 tons of trash, 20,000 pounds of hazardous materials, and 1,500 sharp objects and needles have been taken off the streets.
There are currently three HOPE teams operating in LAPD’s Valley, Central, and West bureaus. The program will be rolled out citywide next month, when the fourth and final team launches in LAPD’s South Bureau. Each LAPD bureau has 10 officers and 1 sergeant dedicated to the HOPE program, for a total of 40 officers and 4 sergeants.
“I worked with the Mayor to bring the pilot HOPE Team to the Valley, because we need a balanced approach to homeless encampments,” said Councilmember Nury Martinez, whose district housed the first HOPE team to launch in the City. “We must address the homeless crisis with comprehensive outreach, but we must also ensure our kids have safe parks and clean sidewalks — which requires us to clean up encampments. The HOPE Teams are a great start.”
In May, Mayor Garcetti signed his 16th Executive Directive, establishing a permanent Mayor’s Homelessness Cabinet and directing City departments to train and empower all staff to become first responders in the fight against homelessness. The Directive implements a “No Wrong Door” strategy, which asks City employees to actively help connect homeless Angelenos with housing and supportive services.The HOPE program exemplifies those efforts. The partnership includes the Office of Mayor Garcetti, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and the Office of the City Attorney.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck stressed that officers have, for decades, been on the frontlines of the homelessness crisis. This program now gives specially trained officers the support that they need, and allows them to focus on tracking homelessness in the communities they serve.
“It is impossible to ignore the pervasive problem of homelessness in Los Angeles,” said Chief Beck. “The men and women of the LAPD often find themselves confronted by complex situations when they deal with Angelenos living on the street. The resources HOPE provides makes those encounters more positive and productive. Furthermore, this is a shining example of a city that works through the power of collaboration.”