Housing First, established by Dr. Sam Tsemberis, is a model which roots permanent supportive housing as a foundation of recovery for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness, mental health conditions, and addictions. Traditionally, these individuals have lived in a cycle of surviving on the street, being admitted to hospitals, shelters, or jails and then going back to the street. The stress of surviving each day in this cycle puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the individual’s psychiatric and physical health. “Living in the street,” one client said, “It makes you crazy.”
Instead, Housing First advocates the provision of client-preferred services based on the premise that individuals know what is best for themselves, that services are to be directed by an individual’s self-determined goals. The number one supportive service requested by Step Up members is housing. Not a pill, a program, or a protocol, but a place to live.
Step Up provides innovative, community-based Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) and comprehensive case management services via developments in Los Angeles, Monterey, Orange, San Bernardino, and Sacramento Counties across California, and in Seminole County, Florida. New locations coming soon in the Coachella Valley in Riverside County, California. In total, Step Up currently provides Permanent Supportive Housing and rich wraparound case management services to over 1,850 individuals that experienced serious mental health conditions and chronic homelessness. The current retention rate for members that remain housed after 12 months is over 98%.
Eleven of Step Up’s PSH developments are located in Southern CA, one in central California, and one in Florida. The two most recent California projects in Salinas and San Bernardino, are Project Homekey motel conversions. We presently have four upcoming projects underway that will house approximately 200 more individuals experiencing homelessness in California located in El Monte, Victorville, and Sacramento.
Step Up also provides PSH and comprehensive services to over 125 Veterans in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Because many Veterans experience PTSD, other mental health conditions, and extreme trauma when transitioning to civilian life, a large number of them are also consistently homeless. Step Up’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (VASH) collaborates with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide housing and services to Veterans who selflessly served our country. In Los Angeles County, Step Up has three motel conversions as well as two other buildings on the West Los Angeles VA campus presently under construction. These units will house over 400 more Veterans experiencing homelessness by the end of 2022.
Step Up also houses hundreds of individuals in individual apartments where landlords accept housing vouchers in Southern California, Georgia, and Tennessee. These apartments also qualify as permanent supportive housing as the staff provide member-driven services and case management support to ensure long-term housing retention. Step Up’s housing team works with property management companies and landlords who are willing to engage with Step Up to rent to individuals experiencing homelessness. Once an individual is in housing, service teams provide supportive case management services to ensure success. These services include assisting in securing public benefits (Social Security, food stamps, etc.), counseling, substance use recovery support and linking to community resources.
Step Up has taken its expertise national, partnering with developers, local governments, private foundations and service providers in the Southeastern U.S. to provide permanent supportive housing for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness in communities in Greater Metro Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia, Sanford, Florida and Nashville, Tennessee.
Step Up’s very first facility which opened in 1994 with 36 units.single room occupancy (SRO) permanent supportive housing project for adults experiencing mental health conditions and homelessness. Major funding provided by the City of Santa Monica, Step Up has served as the service coordinator, mental health provider, and property manager. On the ground floor is nationally recognized psycho-social rehabilitation center and Fresh Start Cafe.
The National Winner of the 2015 HUD Secretary’s Housing and Community Design Award, Step Up on Fifth is located in a vibrant area just three blocks from Step Up on Second. There are 46 units serving adults and young people.
Major supporters of this $18 million project include: tax credit funding of $7.5 million; and City of Santa Monica support of $7.1 million; Step Up’s own $2.5 million capital campaign with generous support provided by a lead gift from the George Hoag Family Foundation, The Annenberg Foundation, The Weingart Foundation, and The Ahmanson Foundation.
These 8 units of Daniel’s Village, which opened in 2009, are specifically designed for young adults experiencing homelessness and the initial symptoms of mental health conditions. This project was a major rehab of a 1940’s hotel located on the original Route 66.
Step Up’s award-winning community, the Kaufmann Apartments at Step Up on Colorado, opened in 2015, ending homelessness for 32 of Santa Monica’s most vulnerable neighbors.
12 units for individuals who have experienced homelessness and mental health conditions but require less intensive onsite support. The hope is to transfer a couple of tenants who have had long-term success in PSH to this community in order to create vacancies for more vulnerable individuals at other Step Up communities.
Opened in 2013, with 34 units. Seven of these units are reserved for transition-age youth. With initial funding from the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, a private contribution by Aileen Getty, and in partnership with Shangri-La Construction, Step Up on Vine was converted from a hotel into permanent supportive housing. It represents Step Up’s expansion of its “housing first” model outside of the Santa Monica area and into Hollywood.
Through a collaboration between Step Up and Aileen Getty, the Hollywood Studio Inn was purchased in early November 2010 with 32 units for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness and mental health conditions in Hollywood. Six units are reserved for TAY. Comprehensive supportive services are provided by both live-in and on-site supportive services staff.
Through another successful collaboration between Step Up and Aileen Getty, 10 units for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness and mental health conditions in Hollywood.
Located on the Veterans Affairs Campus in West LA north of Wilshire, these 54 units are for Veterans who were experiencing chronic homelessness and mental health conditions. Step Up’s Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) team coordinators to assist with services.
The Allstar Homekey is one of Step Up's newest motel conversions and will offer 76 units of permanent supportive housing once fully converted. Through Project Homekey funding and in partnership with co-developer Shangri-La Construction, the property will be home to chronically homeless individuals in the Inland Empire and who are at high risk of Covid-19.
Located in Santa Ana, CA, Heroes Landing opened in June 2020 with 76 units. In co-development with Jamboree Housing Corporation, Heroes Landing provides permanent supportive housing & supportive services for veterans experiencing homelessness. Along with the Step Up Life Skills team, the Long Beach VA, Strength in Support, and Goodwill all have offices onsite.
Located in Salinas, CA, Step Up Salinas opened in December 2020 with 99 apartment units and 2 manager units. Through Project Homekey and the City of Salinas, the property will be home to chronically homeless individuals who are at risk of COVID-19. Step Up & co-developer Shangri-La Industries helped transition phase one of this project from start to finish in just 4 months' time.
The program is currently managed by Step Up's Vice President of Programs, 1 Program Director, 1 Program Manager, and 4 Case Managers.
Warley Park is an 81-unit community for individuals & families in Sanford, Florida co-developed with Wendover Housing Partners. It is the first Permanent Supportive Housing Project in the Central Florida region for people experiencing homelessness and for those with disabling conditions. Wendover Partners provides on-site property management and Step Up provides supportive services, including life skills training, education, employment services and case management.
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Provides one hour of work force development training to a Step Up member.
Provides one home visit from a psychiatrist or nurse for medication support.
Provides a Welcome Home Kit to furnish and outfit an apartment for a member.
1328 Second StreetSanta Monica, CA90401-1122
Phone: (310) 394-6889Fax: (310) 394-6883
Step Up Development1460 4th Street, Suite 200Santa Monica, CA 90401
Step Up on Second Street, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) with EIN 95-4109386
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