Housing Case Management at My Friend's Place
Over the past 12 months, in spite of all of the challenges arising from COVID-19, My Friend's Place has continued to make a significant impact in the lives of youth experiencing homelessness. Our housing case management team has been as active as ever, working diligently to support youth on their journeys towards stability and self-sufficiency.
Housing case management is one of the primary services offered by the caseworkers on our Health & Well-Being team. This team works with youth to develop individualized plans to identify intermediary goals as they move toward housing and meet weekly with youth to track progress, work toward document and income attainment as well as resolution of legal issues that could interfere with housing eligibility. Once youth enter housing, caseworkers provide home visits to support with long-term retention and a permanent exit from homelessness.
This past year, youth met with caseworkers at My Friend's Place 4,356 times, and, even with difficulties and complications associated with the pandemic, 70 youth secured longer-term housing.
According to Health & Well-Being Coordinator Kayla White: "Housing resources have shrunk during COVID-19. In order to follow CDC guidelines, shelters and other housing resources have had to significantly restrict the number of folx they are able to serve. We’ve seen decreased availability and increased demand for beds in LA county. Furthermore, much of the shelter made available during COVID came with restrictions on movement in and out, curfews, and other rules that do not recognize the needs of some youth in their late teens or 20’s. Still, our case management team and the young people they serve have shown up with more motivation to find stable housing than ever. We’ve found that the number of sessions we’ve had with a housing focus has remained consistent despite sometimes seemingly hopeless conditions. Thanks to our dedicated case management team, we have been able to find right- size shelter for 70 individual youth, which is amazing."