Addressing Homelessness Among People With Justice Involvement: Los Angeles County’s Just in Reach Pay for Success Demonstration Project

Article published in Cityscape.

Stephanie Mercier at CSH and Sarah B. Hunter and RAND Corporation co-authored an article in Cityscape, a journal covering research on housing and community development, published by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This article presents an overview of the execution and results of the inaugural Pay for Success (PFS) initiative with Los Angeles County. In 2017, the county embarked on a program utilizing the PFS framework that offered housing and supportive services as a jail alternative for those with a history of homelessness and persistent health ailments. This innovative model established a financing mechanism of two key investors, paired with funding collaborators, an intermediary team overseeing implementation and outcome benchmarks that included CSH, and an independent evaluator to assess the program's overall impact. The county collaborated with providers of housing rental assistance, service navigation, and intensive case management to administer the program. Participants were tracked over two years after enrollment and placement into supportive housing. Concurrently, the team followed the trends among a comparative cohort of similar individuals who were not program beneficiaries. This article summarizes how the program operated and was financed, what the findings were, and the broader evaluative implications. Its purpose is to spotlight how Los Angeles County applied the PFS approach to furnish supportive housing for those entangled with the justice system.

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