Tod Lipka holds an M.P.A. degree and an M.S. from USC. With forty years in managing nonprofits, Mr. Lipka is a seasoned executive. He has been President and CEO of Step Up since 2001. In that time, Step Up has increased exponentially in its breadth of service operation and expanded from one supportive housing project to over twenty-five projects. Step Up started services originally in Los Angeles and now provides services throughout California including Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, and Monterey Counties as well as the states of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. Step Up currently serves nearly 5,000 individuals annually.
Step Up is nationally recognized as a leading mental health and housing provider to those who are chronically homeless. Step Up was an early adopter of the housing first model and Step Up’s work on motel conversion models was part of the genesis of California’s innovative Homekey Model. Called one of the best service providers in the country, Step Up boasts a 98% retention rate of those who are housed.
Led by the mantra of faster, cheaper and more, Step Up is known to focus on the most cost-effective methods to scale permanent housing through motel conversions and modular housing. Lipka is a recognized thought leader on the issues of mental health and homelessness and is focused on rapid dissemination, advocacy and promotion of the most successful housing development practices, methods and innovations that will end homelessness by scaling housing development. He sees the need to educate, advocate and unite the political, philanthropic, developers, investors, private actors, and organizations in adopting the best and next practices for quickly and cost-effectively creating more housing at scale.
Lipka is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative and Step Up’s work was recognized and endorsed personally by President Clinton in 2010 and 2013 as well as recognition by the late Kobe Bryant and the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation.
Lipka oversees all aspects of the Step Up entity which includes permanent supportive housing, mental health services and property management to nearly 5,000 people in five states, most of which serve individuals with serious mental health conditions and experiencing chronic homelessness. Step Up is a premier Housing First organization. As an innovator and thought leader, Lipka educates and advocates directly on behalf of the individuals Step Up serves 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.