Los Angeles Councilmember Monica Rodriguez has announced the securing of more than $500,000 to fund navigation, hygiene, and supportive services for homeless families in the Seventh Council District.
The funding was secured through the state’s Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) and will be administered by North Valley Caring Services (NVCS), an independent nonprofit which serves homeless and low-income individuals and families in North Hills and the surrounding neighborhoods.
“All families, regardless of circumstance, deserve a fighting chance to support their children’s future,” Rodriguez said. “This funding will help fill a critical gap in resources by providing families experiencing homelessness a centralized hub for services.”
Families experiencing homelessness are often placed in motels as a first step toward securing permanent housing. In this interim housing placement, parents must balance childcare, housing and employment appointments, and obligations of their school-aged children.
This could translate into missed school days, or skipped appointments, which further exacerbates their housing issues, according to Manny Flores, NVCS executive director.
“Our outreach team has witnessed these families struggle to feed themselves on a regular basis,” Flores said. “They have had to rely on strangers for childcare, and their children are often playing in unsafe environments.
“Our organization is grateful for the funding that will allow our team to serve as a hub for homeless families living in motels in the San Fernando Valley. This work is important and will ultimately lead to establishing stable and thriving families in our community.”
The funding would support NVCS’ efforts to become a family navigation center: a one-stop shop where families in need can access supportive services and receive referrals to supporting agencies. The NVCS campus would have in-house case managers, housing navigation services, food security program, shower services, activities for children living in motels, workforce development, and license exempt child care.
In The Northeast San Fernando Valley, over 71,000 students identify as homeless. In March 2018, Rodriguez introduced legislation to better coordinate homeless support services between local agencies and public schools.
“I am proud of our productive partnership with NVCS and continued progress to support residents in the Northeast San Fernando Valley,” Rodriguez said. “This funding will help deliver much-needed resources to help families in our community transition out of homelessness.”