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A Holistic Approach to Homelessness

Four million people are proud to call the City of Angels home, and another six million live in our county. Together, we can solve the problems that have created homelessness. It’s clear we need a more aggressive, comprehensive, and integrated approach to tackling this crisis. 

We’ve identified five critical areas of need that will define our work: prevention, community, services, shelter, and housing.

A Holistic Approach to Homelessness

A volunteer fist bumping a man
A hand holding a cell phone that shows the STEP Fund website
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We’re never going to solve the crisis if we don’t first slow the inflow of people falling into homelessness. Because of the high cost of housing in LA, nearly one million Angelenos are just a paycheck away from not being able to cover their mortgage or rent. One financial setback, like a car repair or unexpected medical expense, can lead to someone losing their home. In fact, over 60% of people on the streets in LA today are there because of a financial shock.

That’s why we created the STEP Fund, which stands for Short-Term Eviction Protection. The STEP Fund introduces a new model of intervention inspired by the decades-long success of micro-finance programs in the developing world to bridge the gap during times of financial difficulty and keep people housed.

Established for low-income individuals at imminent risk of eviction

Three year repayment terms for loans of up to $2,500

Prioritize service for prior homelessness, foster care, or Income<30% AMI

Zero interest; no expenses or hidden fees

Unlike other loan programs, our loans are non-punitive, with no required collateral or guarantees

The efficacy of the STEP Fund is being studied by the University of Notre Dame’s Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO). While we anticipate a relatively high default rate, we expect the vast majority of funds will be able to be recycled three or more times over the next 20 years. It’s a highly capital-efficient approach to addressing, or in this case, preventing homelessness. If the LEO research proves this model effective, it can be replicated across California and beyond.

To learn more about the STEP Fund or apply for a loan, visit

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Inadequate sanitation for our homeless population – including lack of access to toilets, storage, trash bins, and basic garbage pickup – has deprived the unhoused of what the United Nations recognizes as a basic human right and has led to dangerous viral outbreaks. It is damaging our streets and infrastructure, and too often, piles of trash have now replaced colorful and lush landscapes in our city. This terrible sanitation situation affects us all - housed and unhoused neighbors, business owners, and visitors. The city we call home is becoming unlivable for many of us.

We can fix inadequate sanitation. In individual neighborhoods, we will improve neighborhood livability by meeting urgent needs for trash collection, belonging storage, and personal hygiene. We will connect neighbors who need support to resources and provide concerned citizens with opportunities to beautify their own communities.

To learn more about our upcoming Sanitation events, visit our events page.

A trash can next to a homeless tent
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Because of archaic systems that don’t communicate with one another, the unhoused and the people employed to help them are having trouble accessing relevant and available services, shelters, and housing. For a city with a burgeoning tech industry, our tech for tackling our biggest problem is a joke. A bad joke. We are going to fix services technology.

The first step to meeting an individual's housing need is to really get to know the person. By leveraging technology, we will establish digital profiles of those in need that can be utilized by partners across the industry to find, secure, and/or improve access to relevant solutions, such as: mental health and addiction treatment, job training, food banks, and health care. We will develop mobile tools that:

Track cases in a way that enables caseworkers to easily share information and understand case history

Track housing options and facilitate attribute matching so that case workers and homeless individuals can easily find units that could be a fit

Match people with available services and shelters

A counselor talking to a patient
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From fears of sexual abuse to policies that prohibit children and pets, restrictions on staying more than one night, and curfews that limit employment options, most unhoused individuals in L.A. do not want to stay at communal shelters.

New products and techniques have dramatically reduced the unit costs of free-standing shelters for individuals and couples. However, the price tag for preparing sites for these low-cost shelters is astronomical.

We can fix astronomical shelter costs. Innovative approaches such as tiny homes allow for greater scale and more flexibility, but transparency is key, and all in new shelter options are too expensive. We're partnering with the city, non profits, and commercial land owners to make shelter flexible and affordable.

Bunk beds in a dormitory
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We do not have enough affordable housing in Los Angeles. Period. Nor do we have enough permanent supportive housing. Building public housing development has proven too expensive and too slow – even when the money is approved and available – so that is clearly not the answer.

So what is the solution? Private markets can solve our housing woes, if properly incentivized.

Relatively simple changes in leasing laws, both at the federal and local level, can show investors guaranteed income streams – unleashing a flood of capital for private developers to build new affordable housing. We are working with multiple U.S. senators to make some of these changes, and there is much more we can legislate locally.

Advances in prefab housing techniques, economies of scale, and multiple new approaches to development based on demographics could change the game even more:

Tiny homes for homeless seniors leveraging new Accessory Dwelling Units laws

Community housing (i.e. dorms) for homeless transition-age youth (16-25 yrs) 

Efficiently-constructed, multi-unit housing for single adults

Livable communities with mixed-use, mixed-income housing on commercial streets

A man opening his front door and letting a volunteer in

Intrigued? Get to know us better.