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Step Up | Services
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Nothing About Us Without Us!

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.

In 2018, Step Up coordinated services for more than 2,500 unduplicated clients, ending homelessness for 1042 individuals through Step Up’s Housing First programs including 123 newly housed individuals in the Inland Empire.

Step Up members maintained a 96%
housing retention rate across all sites!

206 individuals participated in Step Up’s workforce development programs,
with 50 participants moving to unsubsidized employment, including 16 TAY.

27 individuals, including 20 TAY, enrolled in college or
in a high-school diploma program.

In addition, more than 46,000 meals were prepared by Step Up’s workforce development participants and served at Step Up on Second, Step Up on Vine and at Daniel’s Place, providing healthy meals to
community members experiencing food insecurity.

Step Up was named a 2018 California Nonprofit of the Year by State Senator Ben Allen.

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.

An Important Message from Step Up

Dear Supporters, Volunteers and Trusted Community Partners,

We wanted to take a moment to let you know Step Up is actively monitoring the COVID-19 status in the communities we work. We are relieved to report that as of this writing, there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 in the Step Up Community. Step Up is taking measures to both protect employees' health and welfare, and to advance its critical mission to serve its most at-risk members. During this time, members will continue to need our support and we expect to continue to provide the exemplary level of support and services we have become known for in our community.

In an abundance of caution, Step Up is taking the following immediate steps to curtail the spread of the virus and to keep its staff, members and volunteers as safe and as healthy as possible during this period of unknown impact:

  • All volunteer activities at all sites are halted for a minimum of two weeks.
  • Managers are empowered to work with staff to curtail activities that may put them or members at risk. This includes the possibility of remote work when feasible, phone or telehealth meetings with members as necessary, avoiding transporting members in personal or company vehicles - the advancement of our mission is paramount;
  • Program staff will be trained on how to utilize company phone apps to effectively communicate with members and each other as necessary;
  • We have asked staff if they or an immediate family member is experiencing flu-like symptoms, to not report to any office location, contact their manager on how to proceed, and seek medical attention immediately.

While many public and private spaces have curtailed operations for the time being, Step Up will remain operational and will continue serving its clients. Again, it is important to note that NO ONE IN THE STEP UP COMMUNITY HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19. Our goal is to keep it that way for as long as possible.

Please contact us by email or phone before coming to one of our locations. Support from our community is especially vital now as operations are re-aligned to adhere to our mission while keeping staff, members and volunteers safe. Please consider making a donation as we work through this difficult time. Your contributions in any amount ensure that Step Up will continue serving our most vulnerable neighbors, who are especially vulnerable during this community health crisis. Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have.

Stay safe and healthy,
Tod Lipka
President & CEO