Goals for homeless, jobless being met

Due to careful and intensive case management, Glendale officials and nonprofit agencies involved in homeless work exceeded their 2010 goals for getting transients into housing and jobs — an accomplishment they hope to repeat next year.

“It came from a lot of hard work,” Ivet Samvelyan, Glendale’s homeless services coordinator, said at a Homeless Coalition meeting Thursday.

The coalition directs Glendale’s Continuum of Care program, which works with local homeless using competitively-awarded federal grants.

Glendale created six new permanent housing beds for the chronically homeless in Fiscal Year 2010, one more than expected, and had 92% of people in transitional housing move to permanent housing, beating the 88% benchmark.

Twenty percent of the homeless people that were part of the Continuum of Care program had jobs by the time they exited, in line with the group’s goals.

Samvelyan said the success came from working even closer with homeless clients, requiring them to use the Verdugo Jobs Center. Case managers wrote recommendation letters to prospective employers on behalf of their clients, which used to be done on a case-by-case basis.

Samvelyan set goals for this year similar to last year’s, as setting goals that were optimistic, and then missing those goals, could have unintended consequences, she said. That’s because the city receives federal funds for its program based on a variety of factors, including how well it meets its goals. There are also national goals set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, all of which the city surpassed.

The city turned in its federal application for about $2.6 million for its Continuum of Care program this week. The money funds 12 existing programs and one new one focused on veterans.

Christina Hanna, social services assistant at the Glendale-based nonprofit Ascencia, the city’s largest homeless services provider, also announced that the Homeless Coalition accomplished another goal.

This spring, the city committed to housing 10 homeless people by July 2013 as part of the national 100,000 Homes Campaign. This week, Ascencia found its 10th home, this one for a veteran, Hanna said.


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