In an effort to support a comprehensive response to Los Angeles' homelessness crisis, L.A. Works and the 10th Council District announced a new initiative to support and build the social networks of residents who have previously experienced homelessness. The pilot program will train volunteers and pair them with newly-housed residents in the 10th Council District who will participate in weekly phone conversations that aim to reduce isolation and loneliness, and increase the probability of long-term housing stability.
Angelenos looking to become TeleSocial Volunteers are invited to a 2-hour virtual training on Saturday, February 5 at 10:00am. Volunteers interested in attending can sign up via L.A. Works’ website.
Research shows that unhoused individuals experience some of the highest rates of loneliness and isolation across the county. The lack of social connectedness, when compounded with stressors related to poverty, housing instability, overall uncertainties, and lack of support systems, can exacerbate physical and mental health issues experienced by the unhoused and be an indirect barrier to housing stability.
“During the pandemic, we saw how successfully our existing TeleSocial program reduced the isolation of members of our senior community,” said Deborah Brutchey, Executive Director, L.A. Works. “By expanding this program to provide weekly check-in calls with formerly unhoused individuals, we are excited to harness the power of volunteers to make a meaningful contribution to housing stability and help prevent future homelessness in the community.”
Spearheaded by L.A. Works, the TeleSocial pilot program was conceived in partnership with the 10th Council District, which is fully funding the program. Call recipients will be residents of the 10th Council District who were referred by PATH (People Assisting the Homeless) and The People Concern, leading nonprofits who provide housing and services to people experiencing and transitioning out of homelessness, including at various locations across the 10th Council District.
“We are grateful to L.A. Works for teaming up with the 10th Council District, PATH and The People Concern to offer this innovative program designed to enhance the ‘support’ component of ‘permanent supportive housing.’ Simply knowing that there is someone who cares about you and that you can talk to about your day will go a long way towards reducing loneliness and isolation - especially if you are newly housed and grappling with multiple changes in your life,” said the 10th Council District Caretaker, Karly Katona.
For more information, please visit: www.laworks.com.