Best practices for addressing homeless encampments, according to LAHSA

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority released guidance for groups working with those experiencing homelessness.
SILVER LAKE (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority released new guidance on addressing homeless encampments.

The guidance is for groups working with those experiencing homelessness, like nonprofits and service providers.

According to the Heidi Marston, the Executive Director of LAHSA, there are five key principles.

First, provide ample time to engage with people living on the street. Get to know them and gain their trust.

Second, offer voluntary and trauma-informed care.

Third, provide appropriate and low barrier resources.

"Low barrier means easy to access," said Marston. "So, it's everything from you can bring your pet with you, you can bring your belongings with you, you could potentially bring your partner with you."

The fourth and fifth principles are about teamwork. Find an experienced service partner with deep ties to the community. Then let them lead and establish a strong team coordination.

"If we're going to tackle it, let's do it in a way that puts the person on the path to housing and to services. But that also keeps them in that housing and with those supports and doesn't inflict more trauma," said Marston.
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