Step Up uses the Housing First model to connect individuals experiencing chronic homelessness to housing. Housing First is a proven approach in which all individuals experiencing homelessness are believed to be housing-ready.
Step Up’s vocational mission is that everyone who wants to work should work. Services include: Pre-vocational training, resume building, community job seeking and placement, in-the-field job coaching, work experience, focused training, and peer support training.
Step Up creates opportunities for social connectedness through member-driven support groups, movie nights, cooking, community dinners, and gardening. In addition, there are classes offered such as art, yoga, computer basics, and money management.
The Community Need
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 2020 Point in Time (PIT) count for Los Angeles conducted by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority released on June 12th showed there are currently 66,436 people in Los Angeles County experiencing homelessness. This represents a 12.7% rise from last year’s point-in-time count. The city of Los Angeles saw a 14.2% rise to 41,290. This is unacceptable and the need is even more urgent.
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.