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With the creation of its first permanent supportive housing building, Step Up’s three-pronged approach to services for individuals experiencing mental health conditions solidified: permanent supportive housing, workforce development, and member driven supportive services, reflecting Step Up’s core values of respect, dignity, wellness, hope, and collaborative relationships. “Nothing About Us Without Us” is at the heart of Step Up’s programming to help individuals with mental health conditions recover and thrive.
Led by by President and CEO Tod Lipka from its headquarters in Santa Monica, California, Step Up now operates or supports over 1000 PSH units, scattered sites and program support services offices in Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, as well as in Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. And over the last year, Step Up is bringing its expertise national, partnering with developers, local governments, and service providers in the Southeastern U.S. to provide permanent supportive housing for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness in communities there.
The community need that Step Up is addressing with its services is reflected in the numbers of people experiencing homelessness identified in annual Point in Time (PIT) Counts. PIT counts are a count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on a single night in January. PIT Counts are required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and determine the allocation of critical federal dollars for housing and other services for the homeless.
The 2018 Point in Time (PIT) count for Los Angeles conducted by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority released on June 1st showed there are currently 52,565 people in LA County experiencing homelessness.
People experiencing chronic homelessness, people with mental health conditions, and people with substance abuse issues represent approximately 30% of the population experiencing homelessness. Step Up’s programs and services address the needs and problems of these individuals.
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