Programs & Services
Each year, the City of Arcadia participates in the Los Angeles Homeless Authority (LAHSA) Point-In-Time (PIT) count, which is a federal requirement. This countywide event employs volunteers to go out in the community and determine how many individuals are experiencing homelessness. PIT counts help communities plan services and programs to appropriately address local needs, measure progress in decreasing homelessness, and identify strengths and gaps in a community’s current homelessness assistance system. In addition, funding to local communities is largely dependent upon their particular PIT numbers.
The most recent PIT count for Arcadia was conducted in 2020, where it was determined that there are 106 individuals experiencing homelessness in the City. This was a 38% increase from the prior year. The 2021 PIT Count was canceled due to COVID-19. Since the first PIT count in 2015, individuals experiencing homelessness in Arcadia have increased by 381%. It should be noted that part of this increase is due to changes in the methodology in how the PIT is counted as well as the City’s more active involvement in the count in the past few years. Regardless, there is no doubt that Arcadia has seen an increase in homelessness in the past few years.
Arcadia Five Year Homelessness Plan
In 2018, the Arcadia City Council adopted the Five-Year Homelessness Plan after the City received a $30,000 Homeless Planning Grant. The City’s Five-Year Homelessness Plan addresses homelessness in the City through the following strategic goals:
Goal #1: Educate City Staff, Key Stakeholders, and the Community about Homelessness
Goal #2: Strengthen Local Capacity to Support Countywide Outreach
Goal #4: Explore the Creation of Temporary and Permanent Housing Resources
Arcadia Five-Year Homelessness Plan
Homelessness Plan Chart
Grant Funding for Arcadia Homeless Programs
The City of Arcadia’s homelessness programs and services are primarily funded through Measure H and the State of California, most of which are consolidated through grants awarded by the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG). The SGVCOG is a regional planning entity comprised of 30 cities including Arcadia, the County of Los Angeles, and the water districts in the San Gabriel Valley. To receive funding for homelessness programs and services, the City must pursue and apply for grants.
The most significant source of grant funding is from Measure H, a 0.25% sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2017 to fund comprehensive regional strategies to combat homelessness, including efforts for homelessness prevention, subsidized housing, income support, case management services, creating the County’s Coordinated Entry System, and increasing affordable housing.
Since 2017, the portion of Arcadia’s sales tax allocated to Measure H has generated nearly $9 million in revenues for homeless services countywide; however, only about $527,000 has returned directly to Arcadia to fund homeless programs, which is about a 5.8% local return to Arcadia.
SGVCOG Homeless Implementation Grant
The City was allocated $186,500 from the SGVCOG from the State of California for the Homeless Implementation Grant which includes encampment clean-ups, first responder outreach, housing navigator, emergency resources, and staff administration costs.
Encampment Clean Ups: $20,000 supports the staffing and equipment necessary for the Public Works Services Department to remove, transport, store, and dispose of encampment items. Depending on the location, the Public Works Services Department may also need to trim shrubs and vegetation as a deterrent measure for future encampments.
First Responder Outreach: $40,000 assists Arcadia's First Responders outreach from the Police Department’s Homeless Education and Liaison Program (“HELP”) Team and the Fire Department’s response to calls for services and engaging in proactive outreach to individuals experiencing homelessness.
Housing Navigator: $70,000 funds a Housing Navigator who has extensive knowledge of available resources to link individuals experiencing homelessness and will assess the specific needs of each client and arrange, coordinate, monitor, and advocate for housing, and other services to meet the individual’s needs.
City Emergency Resources: $50,000 allows direct access and use to these funds in the field for those needing emergency assistance such as emergency housing, meals, and any other needs to combat homelessness.
Staff Administration Costs: $6,500 supports City Staff to administer the grant, ensuring that all activities funded by the grant are being properly managed.
Arcadia Homeless Resource Hub
To date, the Homeless Resource Hub has provided service to a total of 1,007 participants, the vast majority of which are repeat clients who return each week to the Hub. Services at the Homeless Resource Hub include showers and laundry facilities, free Wi-Fi, charging stations, food, and clothing, on-site case management/housing navigation, job training, first aid services, resources for housing, flu shots, COVID-19 testing and vaccines, and more. The Homeless Resource Hub is located at the City’s Par 3 Golf Course’s parking lot, adjacent to the Santa Anita Wash Trail, which was the most densely populated homeless area in the City’s PIT Count. Since November 2020, the Homeless Resource Hub has been available every Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and will end in July 2021 due to the short-term nature of the pilot program grant.
What Are Tiny Home Shelters?
Tiny Home Shelters are interim housing solutions that represent a quick and scalable approach to addressing emergency shelter needs. Shelters can be built on-site and disassembled, moved, and reassembled as needed. The shelters are weatherproof, climate-controlled, and provide privacy for clients. Tiny Home Shelters address the need for emergency housing. Without housing, those experiencing homelessness have no safe place to go to get off the streets. Not only would the facility provide shelter, but it would also contain security and case managers onsite to assist residents in moving to other temporary and even permanent housing situations, to get job assistance, and receive medical attention and mental health services.
Locally in Los Angeles, there are currently four tiny home village sites: two in North Hollywood, one in Reseda, and one in Tarzana, all of which have been built by the City of Los Angeles and are operated by Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission. Alexandria Park Village in North Hollywood is currently the largest homeless facility in the State of California, consisting of 103 shelter units and 207 beds. Alexandria Park Village was created to provide temporary housing (four to six months) for Los Angeles's homeless population. The 64-foot square units each come equipped with two beds, heat, air-conditioning, windows, a small desk, electrical outlets, and a front door that locks. Village residents are given full access to an array of social services including case management, housing navigation, mental health services, substance abuse counseling, as well as job training and placement. Tiny home shelter facilities differ from congregant shelters as it allows couples to stay together. An additional tiny home village called The Arroyo Seco Tiny Home Village in Highland Park officially broke ground in late June. When it opens, it will become the state’s largest village. The community is expected to be built within three months.
In 2018, the University of California, Berkeley, conducted a study (linked below) on tiny shelters and their usefulness and feasibility to help address homelessness in Alameda County. Included in the study was a survey on the duration of time that tiny shelter housing is provided for residents. The tiny house villages surveyed provide both transitional and permanent housing. Eight villages indicated that they provide transitional housing (defined period of time to facilitate movement to independent housing) and seven indicated that they provide permanent housing (no time limit). Villages could select more than one option in response to the survey question. Of the villages that provide transitional housing, two villages indicated that there is no limit to the number of days that tenants are allowed to stay, one village indicated that the maximum stay is 84 days, two villages indicated that the maximum stay is two years, and one village indicated that the maximum stay is two years but that the time limit is not enforced in practice. The duration of stay for tiny home shelters will vary according to the program established.
Terner Center for Housing Innovation – UC Berkeley
California Department of Housing and Community Development
CBS Los Angeles
Union Station Case Management Data
The most recent case management data report provided by Union Station Homeless Services reflects services provided to individuals experiencing homelessness for the period of January to March 2021. This report only reflects information for our part-time housing navigator that the City shares with the City of South Pasadena through a multi-jurisdictional grant. The City executed a contract with Union Station Homeless Services for a full-time housing navigator in January 2021. The City’s full-time housing navigator’s case management data is still being prepared by Union Station Homeless Services and is expected to be provided at a later time. Since the grant is a multi-jurisdictional grant for the shared housing navigator, the data includes both cities.
Union Station Homeless Services - Arcadia/South Pasadena January - March 2021 Data Report
Myths v. Facts on Homelessness
Helping people enables them to stay homeless.
Food and shelter are essentials for life. By offering these and other outreach services like restrooms, showers, and mail services, relationships can be built with people in need. Then recovery programs, like counseling, addiction recovery, life skills, and job training can be offered. According to LAHSA, studies show that once placed in permanent supportive housing, residents begin to heal and recover from medical or substance abuse issues, gain economic stability, and get the support services they need to permanently stay housed. (Source: Medium)
Homelessness services and programs will attract more homeless individuals to travel in from other places to use the services and programs in the area.
If someone falls into homelessness, they typically stay in the area in which they first fell into homelessness. According to LAHSA, three-quarters of Los Angeles County’s homeless population lived in the region before becoming homeless. (Source: LAHSA)
Homeless people just need to get jobs.
Housing is what ends homelessness. According to LAHSA, many people experiencing homelessness are working full-time and still not earning enough for housing. The State-mandated “Housing First” model for combating homelessness is a proven, global best practice in ending homelessness. It means moving individuals into housing first and foremost as the primary goal, with no preconditions. LAHSA reports that among homeless adults with children, 27% said they were working either part or full time. Simply getting a job may not be sufficient to lift people out of poverty when wages don’t keep up with the rising cost of rent. (Source: Medium)
Homeless people just refuse to get help.
There are many types of people experiencing homelessness, and the pathways to help them overcome obstacles and enter housing vary. Unsheltered individuals may hesitate to enter a shelter because of restrictions on pets or belongings or having to split up as a couple. Additional and more well-considered shelter options can overcome those hesitations, though not as much as a permanent place to call home. And right now, there are many more people who would stay in a shelter if they could, but there aren’t enough beds. According to LAHSA, there are only 12,000 emergency shelter beds available in Los Angeles County with a homeless population of approximately over 66,000. If everyone living on the street wanted to seek shelter tonight, there wouldn’t be a fraction of beds available. (Source: Medium)