Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

The Welcome Home Project - Glossary

Here are some definitions that may be helpful to you:

Point-in-Time (PIT) Count – A count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on a single night in January.

Rapid Re-Housing (RRH) – A housing intervention that connects homeless individuals and families (from emergency shelters or the streets) to permanent housing through the provision of time-limited financial assistance and targeted supportive services.

Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) – LAHSA is the lead agency in the Los Angeles Continuum of Care, which is the regional planning body that coordinates housing and services for homeless families and individuals in Los Angeles County. LAHSA coordinates and manages Federal, State, County and City funds for programs that provide shelter, housing and services to homeless persons in Los Angeles City and County.

Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) – A housing intervention with indefinite rental assistance and supportive services to assist homeless persons with a disability achieve housing stability. Use of services by PSH tenants is purely voluntary, and tenants pay a portion of the monthly rent based on their income.

Transitional Housing (TH) – Transitional housing is viewed more as a program, with social services the primary focus, than as housing. The major focus of transitional housing is to help people increase their coping and life management skills to resolve crises in their lives, gain access to community-based resources, and move into independent permanent housing. Residents are expected to participate in on-site activities and receive services as a condition of their stay. Transitional housing is more expensive than permanent housing because of the on-site services and 24 hour staffing usually provided.

Continuum of Care (CoC) – Term that serves dual purposes. As a service delivery system, a Continuum of Care is an integrated system of care that guides and tracks homeless individuals & families through a comprehensive array of housing & services designed to prevent and end homelessness. As a jurisdictional body, a Continuum of Care is a regional or local planning body that coordinates housing and services funding for homeless families and individuals. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) serves as the CoC for the City and most of the County of Los Angeles.

Coordinated Entry System (CES) – CES stitches existing programs together into a no-wrong-door system, connecting homeless adults to the best resources for them.
CES coordinates providers efforts, creates a real-time list of individuals experiencing homelessness in our communities, and a means to quickly and efficiently match people to available housing resources and services that best fit their needs. The CES operates on-the-ground in all areas of LA County through the support and coordination of over 100 local service providers. A team in each region meets regularly, working together to ensure full geographic coverage by coordinating and expanding outreach, effective assistance to help clients navigate the housing system, and efficient and accurate matches to housing and non-housing resources (such as medical supports) based on the individual needs and acuity level.

Service Planning Area (SPA) – A specific geographic region within Los Angeles County. These distinct regions allow the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to develop and provide more relevant public health and clinical services targeted to the specific health needs of the residents in these different areas

No Wrong Door – A guiding principle of the City’s Comprehensive Homelessness Strategy. There should be no wrong door for a homeless person to get connected to the social, medical and housing resources they need via case management regardless of what door of government they enter, be it Health Services on the County side or the Los Angeles Public Library on the City side.

Comprehensive Homelessness Strategy Report – The primary purpose and scope of this report is to establish a Comprehensive Homeless Strategy through a short, medium and long-term approach. This document provides the City Council and Mayor over 60 policy and funding recommendations, and identifies areas warranting further study. Most importantly, this report establishes up front that the City cannot achieve a reduction in homelessness unilaterally. Central to an effective system to reduce homelessness is on-going coordination with the County of Los Angeles, existing non-profit providers, and Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA).

Housing First – An approach that offers permanent housing as quickly as possible for people experiencing homelessness, particularly for people with long histories of homelessness and co-occurring health challenges, while providing the supportive services people need to keep their housing and avoid returning to homelessness. Income, sobriety and/or participation in treatment or other services are voluntary and are not required as a condition for housing. The guiding philosophy of the Housing First approach is that housing provides people with a foundation from which they can pursue other goals. Tenants are assisted in developing or improving skills for independent living while they live in permanent housing.