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Metro Deploys Outreach Teams to Assist Homeless Population on Metro System

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Friday June 02, 2017

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has engaged the county’s homeless population in a new dynamic way this week, deploying homeless outreach teams on the Metro System to offer services and housing information.

These outreach teams are part of a new Metro Homeless Action Plan that includes two “County-City-Community” (C3) teams to engage homeless individuals on the Metro system to ultimately get them into services. These C3 teams consist of nurses, substance abuse counselors, mental health clinicians, former homeless individuals and other outreach workers seeking to help homeless people who shelter within Metro’s stations, trains and buses.

“Fortunately, Metro is in a position to partner with L.A. County Department of Health Services (DHS) and People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) to begin to address the dire homeless situation that tragically affects so many people,” said John Fasana, Metro Board Chair and city of Duarte Mayor Pro-Tem. “We are more than willing to do our part to ensure homeless individuals receive the services they may need while ensuring that we can continue to operate a safe and quality environment for all our transit customers.” 

This week, Metro’s C3 outreach team made contact with 172 homeless individuals on the Metro Red Line. Approximately five Coordinated Entry System applications, which serve as a starting point to access homeless services, were completed. Seven individuals were transported to local housing, six individuals were provided with clothing vouchers, and four tokens were distributed for follow-up appointments.

Teams will continue to ride the Metro Red, Gold and Green Lines between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., five days per week. Times coincide with the operating hours of local homeless service providers. Additionally, Metro’s transit security officers working graveyard shifts will also help guide deployment of C3 teams each day. The next team is scheduled to ride these lines on June 5.

The C3 homeless outreach teams will participate in a 12-month deployment period that will contribute to a case study evaluating homeless outreach needs on the Metro system. Metro plans to contribute its findings to other city and county agencies to develop their own strategies and funding mechanisms to address homelessness.

“Homelessness is a pervasive problem, from one end of Los Angeles County to the other,” said Mark Ridley-Thomas, Metro Board Member and L.A. County Supervisor. “We must act in a collective but caring manner to assist our homeless brothers and sisters by connecting them with critically needed services and resources that our county has to offer.”

Late last year a motion by Directors Mark Ridley-Thomas, John Fasana, Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker and Mike Bonin led to Metro Board approval of $1.2 million for the deployment of multidisciplinary homeless outreach teams expressly on the Metro system. The program will be coordinated closely with the Countywide Homeless Strategy Initiative, a broader county program to help address the region’s growing homeless crisis. According to most recent figures, there are now approximately 58,000 homeless individuals in L.A. County.

Earlier this year, Metro created a Homeless Action Plan to address homelessness on the Metro system. The plan solidifies a coordinated homeless outreach service approach aimed at reducing the incidence of homelessness in and around Metro’s transit stations and corridors. The plan is also focused on enhancing the customer experience, increasing safety and security and connecting homeless individuals to support services.

“At Metro, our objective is not only to enhance the transit customer’s experience, but to show care and concern for all residents traveling within our county,” said Phillip A. Washington, Metro CEO. “Metro’s action plan provides the blueprint for our agency to align our efforts with the city and county of Los Angeles homeless plans and make certain that the homeless on the Metro system and properties receive the proper allocation of resources.” 

For more information about this program, please visit http://metro.net/riding/homeless-task-force/.

About Metro
Metro is a multimodal transportation agency that is really three companies in one: a major operator that transports about 1.4 million boarding passengers on an average weekday on a fleet of 2,200 clean air buses and six rail lines, a major construction agency that oversees many bus, rail, highway and other mobility related building projects, and the lead transportation planning and programming agency for Los Angeles County. Overseeing one of the largest public works programs in America, Metro is changing the urban landscape of the Los Angeles region. Dozens of transit, highway and other mobility projects largely funded by Measure R are under construction or in the planning stages. These include five new rail lines, enhanced bus operations, and numerous highway and local projects.
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