In a landmark initiative aimed at tackling Los Angeles’s escalating homelessness crisis, the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles’s We Are LA program has received a significant financial boost. The Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation and Health Net, a leading health care provider, have collectively contributed $2.8 million towards eviction-prevention efforts in the city. This generous donation positions them alongside L.A. Care Health Plan, which previously donated $1.8 million, at the forefront of the program’s funding partners. These substantial contributions mark a pivotal moment in the city’s fight against homelessness, showcasing a concerted effort between local government, philanthropic organizations, and businesses to address a pressing urban challenge.

The We Are LA program operates with a clear mission: to connect those at risk of eviction with the necessary resources to maintain stable housing. Amidst rising housing costs and economic uncertainty, many Angelenos find themselves on the brink of homelessness. We Are LA’s interventions offer a lifeline, providing targeted outreach to individuals who have received eviction notices, operating a hotline, and organizing tenant resource clinics. The program’s approach is comprehensive, focusing on assessing the full spectrum of resources available to at-risk individuals and guiding them through the complexities of applying for government and charitable assistance.

Mayor Karen Bass emphasized the critical nature of these partnerships in preventing homelessness. “We must bring unhoused Angelenos inside while doing all that we can to prevent people from falling into homelessness in the first place,” she stated. The Mayor acknowledged the crucial role of private philanthropy, adding, “This is not a fight we will win if private philanthropy does not lock arms with us in this effort.”

The impact of We Are LA is profound and far-reaching. Since its inception, the program has engaged with over 411,000 Angelenos seeking help to stabilize their housing situations. By connecting them to vital programs such as Medi-Cal, CalFresh, and providing access to legal information and defense through a network of pro bono attorneys, We Are LA has managed to serve over 32,000 individuals and families, helping them avoid eviction and remain housed.

Moreover, the program’s partnership with U.S. VETS aims to extend its reach to service veterans in Los Angeles, recognizing the unique challenges faced by this demographic. Linda Hope, Chair and CEO of the Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation, highlighted her parents’ devotion to supporting veterans, stating, “My mom and dad always had a heartfelt devotion and concern for those individuals who have and continue to serve our country.”

Health Net’s contribution underscores the intrinsic link between housing stability and health outcomes. Martha Santana-Chin, President of Medi-Cal and Medicare at Health Net, pointed out the detrimental effects of homelessness on preventive health measures and existing health conditions. “Housing is a critical key to health,” she asserted, reinforcing Health Net’s commitment to transforming the health of Californians by addressing foundational issues like housing stability.

The recent donations to the Mayor’s Fund will enable We Are LA to both continue and expand its crucial work. With nearly 6,000 eviction notices filed in March alone, according to Conway Collis, President and CEO of the Mayor’s Fund, the need for such interventions remains urgent. As the city grapples with how best to support its most vulnerable residents, the partnerships formed through initiatives like We Are LA serve as a beacon of hope and a model for collaborative action against homelessness.