This week, legislation introduced by my Council colleague Marqueece Harris-Dawson and I calling for the adoption and piloting of new technology for city workers that interface with the homeless population was passed unanimously by City Council
Individuals experiencing homelessness often face challenges over and above the lack of a place to call home. In many cases, these individuals face mental health challenges, addiction, domestic abuse, or a history of trauma requiring treatment and assistance that can be difficult to find. Since launching Neighborhoods FIRST, I have been looking for ways to make it easier to deliver these services to the affected population so that we can better address the causes of homelessness.
There is also a need for first responders to know of locations of legitimate treatment centers so they can offer the appropriate services to individuals in need.
The Get Help App gives treatment centers, clinicians, interventionists and detox facilities a new and innovative way to reach the vulnerable population in Los Angeles and connect them to the treatment they need. The app also engages the same vulnerable population, their families, and first responders, who can use the app to access treatment that may be needed and to connect to providers without wading through the usual bureaucracy.
Starting early next year, first responders and others will have this new tool at their fingertips. The City will monitor data and usage to make improvements to the app so that there is never a situation in which an individual living on the streets is ready to accept help but unable to find a source able to provide it.