A World Changing Model to Help the Homeless

LAC+USC Restorative Care Village, Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles County, like many urban centers globally, faces a crisis of homelessness. This is a particularly acute problem for vulnerable populations, including those with mental illness, disability and/or other unstable living conditions. Unfortunately, these challenges are often compounded by poverty and unemployment in a way that makes overcoming any one of the challenges virtually impossible. Modern approaches to tackling the problems one at a time has not worked.

The Los Angeles County + University of Southern California (LAC+USC) Restorative Care Village (RCV) Project and associated County Programs supporting it, represents an innovative new approach to providing supportive care for these underserved and vulnerable communities in Los Angeles County. It is home to a comprehensive strategy for managing the whole-person and full continuum of interrelated challenges facing those with serious medical, mental health and addiction issues who may be homeless or incarcerated as a result.

The project is a world-changing model for others across the globe in how it focuses on comprehensive residential treatment options. The RCV will be largely modular, with prefabricated materials and spaces, and located on the LAC+USC Medical Campus. It will consist of two primary components:

A Recuperative Care Center with 96 beds to provide immediate placement options for individuals discharged from an inpatient hospital setting who lack a supportive place to live. This clinically enriched form of interim housing will offer on-site administrative support, health oversight, case management, and linkage to permanent supportive housing.

The Residential Treatment Program (RTP) consisting of four buildings that provide a short-term alternative to hospitalization to address mental health needs. The RTP offers residential programs for individuals being discharged from County hospital emergency services, inpatient units, jails, and urgent care centers and will provide therapy and support services to those rehabilitating from physical trauma. There will be 16 beds in each of the four buildings (64 total).

Together, these facilities, along with others planned throughout the County, are essential components of a broader strategy to help vulnerable residents fully recover. They offer a safe, clean, sober and nurturing environment for patients while permanent housing solutions are sought. The RCV is the first phase of a larger resource array that will not only divert individuals with complex healthcare needs from city street and/or the local jails, but also promote their successful re-integration in the community.