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Step Up, and its transitional aged youth programs Daniel’s Places, are in a unique position to engage with key policymakers and constituencies to educate and advocate for effective mental health and housing policies and sustainable resource commitments at the County, State, and Federal levels of government. As innovators and thought leaders, Step Up and Daniel’s Places educate and advocate directly on behalf of the individuals they serve through sharing powerful personal stories from the field, increasing awareness and sharing best practices in the area of mental health, chronic homelessness, and permanent supportive housing. Education and Advocacy Goals
Step Up CEO Tod Lipka (far right), and Step Up Board member and Public Policy Committee member Nancy Carter (second from right) visit with CA Assembly member Ed Chau, along with Home for Good and Los Angeles Chamber teams.
Education and Advocacy Activities Tod Lipka participated in the “Proven Practices” conference to end homelessness hosted at Loma Linda University with Step Up Board member, Philip Mangano as keynote speaker. The collaborative work of the Homeless Outreach and Proactive Enforcement (HOPE) Team of San Bernadino County Sheriff’s Office, District Supervisors James Ramos and Josie Gonsalez, and numerous others, invited front-line Los Angeles area service providers to share solutions in panel discussions on the experience of homelessness for veterans, for women, mental health issues, & employment.
Tod Lipka also gave an update to the City of Beverly Hills Human Relations Commission (left) on how Step Up’s street outreach and engagement team of Kevin & Annie, are ending homelessness in Beverly Hills through its Changing Lives and Sharing Places (CLASP) program.
A Step Up delegation met with The Honorable Ted Lieu, Senator, 28th Senate District, to introduce the variety of mental health services offered at Step Up, as well as engage in an extensive conversation on his bill SB 593, “Pay for Success”. Step Up endorses this innovative funding mechanism as a means to scale up financing of permanent supportive housing units sufficient for those in greatest need where there is a clear cost benefit. We know that by housing those in greatest need, their utilization of the most expensive government systems of care, decreases. Sen. Lieu shared how part of his motivation for the bill was conversations with just such a constituent, struggling to maintain his housing and at-risk of homelessness. Step Up is signing on in support of SB 593, and will be providing Sen. Lieu with cost-benefit studies on Housing First, the evidence-based model associated with “Pay for Success”.
Above left to right: Board members Fernando Torres-Gil, Philip Mangano, and Les Jones, met with CA State Senator Ted Lieu, along with Carolyn Baker and Tod Lipka on SB 593.
Step Up participated in the Next Practices Colloquy held at USC, and presented by the American Round Table to Abolish Homelessness. Les Jones was a presenter, and also helped inaugurate the LES Talks. The Colloquy focused on positioning attendees for ENDING chronic homelessness for individuals with mental health issues. Implications of upcoming policies & resources, and fresh innovations in PSH were explored – all with the intent of scaling what is already known to work and discovering what may work in the future.
Above left to right: Pioneering presenters Dr. Stephen Gaetz, Director, Homeless Hub (Canadian Homelessness Research Network); Philip Mangano, Pres. & CEO, the American Round Table to Abolish Homelessness; and Dr. Sam Tsemberis, Founder & CEO, Pathways to Housing, New York. Our goal is to advance their great work to an unprecedented scale!
A Step Up delegation visited Washington DC May 6-9, bringing education about and analysis of our cost-effective Housing First model to national leaders and policy makers. Since July 1, 2013, fifty seven individuals who were chronically homeless or homeless and experiencing mental health issues now reside in Step Up’s permanent supportive housing. Step Up has a 90% retention of individuals in supportive housing after 12 months. This proven model is a 40% cost savings to taxpayers.
Above left to right: Lindsay Gilchrist, Tod Lipka, Les Jones, Carolyn Baker, and Philip Mangano are shown with Rep. Paul Ryan after a highly engaged and productive meeting on pertinent mental health issues now in discussion on Capital Hill. During the two and a half day visit to DC, the Step Up delegation had twenty three appointments – seven with members of Congress – and staff and like-minded NGO’s.