Item 10-B

Council Meeting: 2/25/97                     Santa Monica, CA

TO:       Mayor and City Council

FROM:     City Staff     

SUBJECT:  Update on the Annual Review of the City's Coordinated
          Plan for Homeless Services and Recommendation to Hold a
          Public Hearing and Establish a Schedule to Conduct
          Subsequent Annual Reviews of the City's Coordinated
          Plan for Homeless Services 

INTRODUCTION
This report recommends the City Council hold a public hearing on
the City's Coordinated Plan for Homeless Services pursuant to
Municipal Code Section 2.69.030, and establish a schedule for
conducting subsequent annual reviews and corresponding public
hearings. This report also provides an update  to the Annual
Review, previously transmitted to City Council members and the
public on April 19, 1996, and attached hereto as Attachment I.

BACKGROUND
An annual review of the City's Coordinated Plan for Homeless
Services is required by the Public Safety Initiative adopted by
City Council in September of 1994.  In connection with the annual
review and pursuant to Municipal Code Section 2.69.030, a public
hearing is required to gain input on:

     the impact of the City's homeless population on other
     residents of the City; 
     the effectiveness of the delivery of services to homeless
     persons by the City and various social service agencies; 
     the cost of those services; and
     the changes which should be made in the plan in order to
     carry out its primary goals and objectives.

Notice of this public hearing has been sent to all who provided
written comments regarding this Annual Review, City Boards and
Commissions, Neighborhood Association Board Members, the Chamber
of Commerce, the Santa Monica-Malibu School District, Santa
Monica College, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority
(LAHSA), City-funded organizations, and other relevant community
groups including but not limited to the Westside Shelter and
Hunger Coalition and Side-by-Side.  A display ad was placed in
the Outlook, on February 19, 1997.

Many of the written comments on the Annual Review focused on the
availability of public showers and restrooms, meal distribution,
and homeless representation on boards and commissions within the
City and City-funded organizations.   Written comments are
attached hereto as Attachment 2.  City staff responded to all
letters received as part of the public comment on the Annual
Review, and continue to work with individuals, constituent
groups, and grantees to identify solutions which constructively
address these and other issues. 

The City Council may consider all public comments at the  public
hearing and previous correspondence in formulating direction to
staff regarding the City's FY 1997-98 Community Development Plan
and Budget.

DISCUSSION 
This discussion provides an overview of 1) how the City is
complying with the stated goals of the Public Safety Initiative
in regard to the coordinated delivery of services to the
homeless, 2) the impact of the homeless population on the City,
3) the effectiveness of service delivery, 4) the cost of service
delivery, 5) suggested changes and improvements to homeless
services and, 6) the  establishment of an annual review schedule.

1)   Compliance with the Public Safety Initiative:   The Public
Safety Initiative requires the City to implement a coordinated
plan for homeless services in compliance with the following seven
goals.  City-funded programs are addressing these goals as
described below.

Goal #1- Effectively assist homeless individuals in returning to
a self-sufficient status.

     Homeless services effectively assist individuals in
achieving self-sufficiency    through housing and employment. 
The chart on page seven highlights the  number of program
participants who obtained housing and employment in    FY1995-96      and during the first half of  FY1996-97.

Goal #2- Monitor the progress of individuals receiving services.

     City staff and service providers monitor the progress of
individuals receiving    services through the recently
established Automated Case Management System      (ACMS).

Goal #3- Eliminate duplication of services.

     Through the use of ACMS, duplication of services has been
substantially  reduced but not yet eliminated. In a minimal
number of cases, duplication  appears to persist because of
inadequate communication among service  providers.  City staff is
working closely with service providers to facilitate   improved
communication.  ACMS User Meetings have served to improve regular
     communication among service providers.

Goal #4-  Emphasize long-term solutions to homelessness by
          combined housing, counseling, and job training. 
     
     Programs emphasize long-term solutions to homelessness by
     combining housing, counseling, and job preparation.

Goal #5-  Provide non-housing services for approximately the same
          number of homeless individuals as can be temporarily
          sheltered in the City.

     City-funded programs provide non-housing services for a
     greater number of homeless individuals than can be
     temporarily sheltered in the City. The majority of City-funded programs provide long-term case management and
     related supportive services (i.e. non-housing services)
     which are geared towards placing clients into temporary and,
     ultimately, permanent housing. However, because not all
     homeless persons will successfully transition through the
     continuum of care, it is expected that there will always be
     a larger number of homeless persons who receive case
     management services than  the number of homeless persons who
     are placed in shelter or transitional housing.

Goal #6-  Prevent an increase, and wherever feasible, reduce
          expenditures relating to homeless services.

     The City has sustained a maintenance of effort budget for
     homeless services, with a 3.0% COLA in FY1995-96 and a
     2.5%COLA in FY1996-97.  However, in FY1996-97, the City
     acted as a fiscal agent and lead agency for a $592,934 grant
     from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
     (HUD); all grant funds are passed through to organizations
     to enhance the computerized case management system.

Goal #7-  Impose reasonable time limits on the provision of
          services to the same individuals.

     City-funded organizations impose varying time limits on the
     provision of services to the same individuals. The emergency
     and transitional housing programs provide a maximum stay of
     six months. SHWASHLOCK also  imposes a six-month maximum
     limit.  The time limits imposed on case management programs
     are based on the individualized needs of clients. For
     example, clients who suffer from drug addiction or mental
     illness may take longer than others to achieve employment
     and housing because they must also address their drug
     treatment or mental health care needs.  A reasonable time
     limit for these clients may be up to two years, provided
     clients are making progress. 
 

2)   Impact of the City's Homeless Population on Other Residents
of the City:  Santa Monica has a significant homeless population.
However, the exact number of homeless persons in Santa Monica is
not known.  A Rand Study conducted in 1991 estimates that on any
given night in Santa Monica and West Los Angeles, there are
approximately 1,400 homeless persons.  It is further estimated
that between 3,000 and 5,000 persons are homeless in Santa Monica
over the course of a year. 

Stated broadly, the homeless crisis impacts all sectors of Santa
Monica. Retail businesses, tourists and residents, law
enforcement, emergency services, public works, community
resources, and public health are all impacted by a significant
homeless population.

Indicators point to a reduced impact of homelessness on the City
in recent years.  The number of homeless encampments in City
parks, other public property, and private property has decreased.
The business community has assumed an active role in
constructively addressing homeless-related problems in
collaboration with homeless persons, service providers and City
staff.

3)   Effectiveness of Delivery of Services:  Homeless services in
Santa Monica are based on a "continuum of care" model
characterized by the following components: outreach, emergency
assistance (i.e., food, clothing, showers, lockers, mailing
address), intake and assessment, emergency shelter, case
management and employment services, transitional housing, and
permanent housing.  Each agency's  Program Plan, included in the
City's Grantee Agreement, specifies how delivered services will
address this continuum and effectively assist homeless
individuals in returning to a self-sufficient status.  Each
agency is required to monitor the effectiveness of service
delivery by generating regular progress reports off the Automated
Case Management System (ACMS) and evaluating client outcomes. 
City staff monitors the delivery of services and clients'
progress toward self sufficiency through site visits and report
review.  

The ACMS has been fully operational at five organizations since
January of 1996, and provides an automated system for tracking
and reporting all services delivered.  With funding support from
HUD's Supportive Housing Program, the City is expanding the
system to four additional organizations beginning in 1997.  It is
expected that 100% of all City-funded direct service programs
targeting homeless people will utilize the ACMS by FY1997-98.

The computerized system notifies each participating organization
when a homeless individual is registered for services at multiple
sites.  Organizations then work together to identify a lead case
manager who will serve as that homeless person's primary contact
and resource.  This lead case manager works to connect the client
with other essential services that may not be provided directly
by the organization, such as job training, money management,
health services, drug treatment, and mental health counseling. 
The case manager, agency and the City can track service delivery
information and evaluate outcomes.  

The system also generates agency-specific and aggregate reports. 
This includes the total number of unduplicated persons served,
demographic characteristics, and program outcomes (i.e.,
emergency shelter placements, housing placements, employment
placements, participation in job training).  Participating
agencies are responsible for accurately inputting and updating
information on the system.  City staff has worked closely with
each organization to establish uniform intake, assessment, and
case management standards to achieve a high quality of
coordinated service delivery.

Since January of 1996, City staff has coordinated regularly
scheduled meetings of system users to address implementation
problems, resulting in needed programming changes to ensure the
accuracy and effectiveness of the system.  City staff also
continues to work closely with participating organizations and
ACMS to improve training on the system.

The following table summarizes homeless participant and program
outcomes during FY1995-96 and the first half of FY1996-97.

                    FY95-96        %         Mod Year FY    %                                  Placed    96-97        Placed
                                             No. Served

Total in SM Prog.   1,124          ---       819            ---
Participants

Placement in        217            (19%)     144            (18%)
permanent hsg.

Placements in       121            (11%)     131            (16%)
transitional 
housing                                 

Placements in       430            (38%)     176            (21%)
emergency shelter

Placements in       127            (11%)     97             (12%)
permanent 
employment

Placements in       83             (7%)      64             (8%)
temporary 
employment

     In FY1995-96, of the 1124 persons enrolled in City-funded
     programs, 19% obtained permanent housing; 11% obtained
     transitional housing; 13% obtained permanent employment; and
     7% obtained temporary employment. These percentages indicate
     how difficult it is to move persons from homelessness to
     housing and self-sufficiency.  This difficulty is further
     compounded by problems including mental illness, chronic
     substance abuse, or other disabilities experienced by over
     half of the population served and the absence of adequate
     programs to address these problems.

     In  FY1995-96, a total of 430 (or 38% of the 1124 served)
     homeless persons received shelter at SAMOSHEL.  Service
     providers also refer and place clients into emergency
     shelters in Los Angeles County, including the Emergency Cold
     Weather Shelter Program during the winter, and provide motel
     vouchers to homeless persons with special needs.  

     SAMOSHEL placements for the first half of FY1996-97 are
     lower than the FY1995-96 trends due to longer stays (up to
     six months) and low client turn-over.  These are indicators
     of the success of the program.

     To date in FY1996-97, a total of 819 unduplicated homeless
     persons have participated in coordinated case management and
     related services designed to help clients transition from
     homelessness to housing and self sufficiency.  This high
     number is explained by the fact that over half of the
     clients who enrolled in the system during FY1995-96 continue
     to receive services in FY1996-97.  It is not likely that
     this number will be doubled during the second half of
     FY1996-97, because of the length of time it takes for
     clients to progress through the continuum of care and
     achieve housing and stability.  

While the goal of each City-funded program is to break the cycle
of homelessness through placement of individuals into housing and
employment, outcomes quantifying housing and employment
placements do not adequately reflect all of the outcomes
resulting from services delivered.  Additional  outcomes may
include reduction in homeless-related crimes, reduction in
homeless deaths, reduction in paramedic calls for homeless
persons, improved health and mental health status, maintaining
sobriety, establishing contact with family members, behavioral
change, and tax-payer savings for persons who successfully get
off welfare.  These outcomes are difficult to quantify. In
addition, statistical outcome measures do not adequately
incorporate personal feedback from program clients about how a
program has helped the client. City staff and grantees will
continue to explore ways to reflect this broader effort in future
reporting. 

Reliance on measuring program success based solely on housing and
employment outcomes de-emphasizes the systemic problems which
produce homelessness in the first place--chronic poverty,
structural economic changes, reductions in non-skilled and low-skilled jobs, lack of affordable housing, chronic mental illness,
and unavailability of drug/alcohol treatment programs.

4)   Cost of Services:  In FY1996-97, the City budgeted
$1,700,881 to fund homeless services, up from the FY1995-96
budget of $1,667,711 due to a 2.4% COLA.   In addition, in
FY1996-97, the City acted as a fiscal agent and lead agency for a
$592,934 grant from HUD to enhance the computerized case
management tracking system.  For every dollar of City funding
$2.50 of non-City funding is leveraged.

5)   Suggested Changes for Improvements to Homeless Services:  
     In an effort to improve homeless services, City staff
     recently requested programming changes on ACMS to facilitate
     case plan development, case monitoring, tracking and
     reporting.  City staff is working closely with the ACMS
     system manager and service providers to  refine, simplify
     and improve training on the system.  

     City staff believes that limited access to homeless programs
     may bypass working homeless persons who cannot currently
     participate in services during regular business hours. The
     recently released RFP for FY1997-98 seeks proposals for
     programs to provide needed services during weekend or
     evening hours.

City staff will continue to assess service delivery effectiveness
and any gaps in services, and recommend or institute changes for
improvements when feasible and within Council established
policies and legal mandates.

6)   Proposed Schedule for Future Annual Reviews and Public
Hearings:  Year-end program and fiscal reports are due from
grantees to the City 25 working days after the end of each fiscal
year.  A regularly scheduled annual review and public hearing
each September would provide City staff time to evaluate year-end
reports and prepare documentation for an annual review. 
Therefore, City staff recommends establishing a schedule for
conducting subsequent annual reviews and corresponding public
hearings each September, beginning in 1997.

FISCAL/BUDGETARY IMPACT
This report has no budgetary impact.  On June 25, 1996, the City
Council approved City funding of homeless programs in FY1996-97.
As directed by the Council in January, 1997, City staff issued an
open and competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) for all human
service, employment and housing programs for a three-year funding
term beginning in FY1997-98.  Specific funding recommendations
resulting from this RFP will be included in the City's Proposed
Budget to be adopted in June 1997.

RECOMMENDATION
City staff recommends that the City Council hold a public hearing
to gain input on the Annual Review of the City's Coordinated Plan
for Homeless Services.  City staff recommends that City Council
establish a schedule for conducting subsequent Annual Reviews and
corresponding Public Hearings each September, beginning in 1997.

ATTACHMENT I:       Annual Review of the City's Coordinated Plan
                    for Homeless Services (April 1996)
ATTACHMENT II:      Written Comments Received on the Annual
Review