This week, I joined Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson to announce a program with the potential to transform how we serve those experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles. The Get Help LA app will put a live, location based service directory in the hands of every LAPD HOPE officer and outreach worker as they work to connect unsheltered individuals with necessary medical, mental health, or addiction treatment.
In the over 15 years I've served as an LAPD Reseve Officer, I've witnessed the critical need for a tool like this. Officers are often the first point of contact for homeless individuals. However, the reference books provided to officers are often printed on paper and out of date by the time they are needed. This new tool gives officers up-to-date, accurate information about the service providers closest to them. This increases the chances that someone in need will get access to the services they require.
Over the next six months, the City's Information and Technology Agency, LAPD, LAFD, and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority will test this app with first responders while reviewing data and activity to improve the mobile application. Ultimately, anyone in need of services or looking to connect someone with services will be able to find exactly what they need with just a few taps on their phone.
Check out video from the announcement, here.