The Midnight Mission

Program Name

Housing Navigation Program

Program Site

Main Facility:  601 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles, CA 90014

Why The Midnight Mission?

The Midnight Mission has an established history of over 100 years serving the homeless community in Los Angeles. We have demonstrated the capacity to adapt to a changing environment, moving from a meals program to a crisis housing program and then adding therapeutic housing for homeless people suffering from substance use disorder. During our history, we have built a strong bond with our community, enrolling over 17,000 volunteers a year in committing time and resources toward ending homelessness in Los Angeles. Our programs are specifically designed to provide critical services to people experiencing homelessness. At The Midnight Mission (TMM) we strive to be the premier provider of life changing services for people experiencing homelessness in Southern California. TMM offers paths to self-sufficiency for those who have lost direction. Our emergency services, 12-step recovery programs, Family Living program, job training, education, and workforce development offer a compassionate bridge to achieve and maintain healthy productive lives. We remove obstacles and provide a framework of structure, support, and accountability to help people who are homeless become self-sufficient and live their best life. Our mission is two-fold: 1. To offer a bridge to self-sufficiency for people experiencing homelessness through recovery services, counseling, education, training, workforce development, and continued care services. 2. To make available the basic life necessities for those who are homeless including food, shelter, clothing, medical care and personal hygiene needs.  At our main facility located at 6th and San Pedro TMM provides basic safety-net services including nutritious meals, mail service, hygiene services, medical & dental services, and clothing.  Our vision is to leverage this service rich environment to assist men and women experiencing homelessness with that helping hand needed to regain their ability to be self-sufficient.

About The Midnight Mission

Founded in 1914, The Midnight Mission (TMM) offers paths to self-sufficiency to men, women and children who have lost direction.  We remove obstacles and provide the accountability and structure that people who are experiencing homelessness need to be productive in their communities.  Our conviction and commitment to their success define us. 

TMM is proposing a pilot program and seeks funding for a Rotary Housing Navigator to identify additional housing options for those who are homeless, as we implement a Housing Navigation Program. A common problem homeless people face, once they resolve issues that led to the initial homelessness, is finding a home to live in. The difficulty in following all of the steps needed for applications coupled with low affordable housing stock make finding a home nearly impossible. There are housing location services available for target populations such as Veterans and chronically homeless, but there are no dedicated services for the remaining homeless individuals and families. In an effort to apply emerging practices and be forward thinking, TMM seeks to implement a Housing Navigator program. The use of Navigators was initially employed in healthcare settings to ensure that patients were able to access needed health and social services. The American Cancer Society (ACS) documented that the use of navigators improved health outcomes for patients receiving those services. Over the last few years, pilot programs using navigators to clear a path for those who are homeless have demonstrated success in getting people permanently housed. Housing Navigators are well trained individuals familiar with local housing inventory, processes and requirements and provide step-by-step support to homeless individuals or families in attaining permanent housing. The Midnight Mission (TMM) seeks funding to develop and implement a Rotary Housing Navigation Program adding this new learning. People who are experiencing homelessness encounter numerous obstacles and challenges in the housing identification and application processes that inadvertently becomes yet another barrier to achieving stable housing. In many cases just one error or missed appointment will disqualify or cause a significant delay in getting access to permanent housing. Although there is a strong effort in Los Angeles supported by the Mayor’s Housing Initiatives to coordinate various agency services through a Coordinated Entry System, that system focuses almost exclusively on chronically homeless. Additionally, even experienced case managers are not specialized in the housing function, and face challenges with locating housing options and assisting clients to become stably housed. The Affordable Housing Gap Analysis 2016 report documents a critical shortage of affordable and available rental units for those with extremely low income. The Gap Analysis shows that for every 100 low income renters in Los Angeles, there are only 17 affordable rental units available. Extremely low income renters are those with income at or below 30% of their Area Median Income (AMI). In Los Angeles that is about $18,000 for an individual and about $26,000 for a family of four. The limited affordable housing stock in Los Angeles referenced in the report means that 83 out every 100 low income households looking for permanent housing may continue to remain homeless. The role of the proposed Housing Navigator is to work with local landlords to secure access to additional housing inventory, identify and coordinate available housing options, and then serve as the primary point of contact for an individual or family to navigate the system and secure housing. Many homeless people have a variety of issues that are deterrents for landlords; bad credit, prior evictions, and arrest records. The Housing Navigator will develop strong relationships with landlords, and is a partner with both the landlord and the potential tenant, providing landlords with the confidence that a particular tenant will not become their own problem to manage. Given the scale, size, and complexity of Los Angeles, and the difficulty in finding available housing, improvement requires a dedicated focus on housing. The proposed Housing Navigator would identify housing resources available while building relationships with landlords to navigate through current supply and demand issues. The Housing Navigator will assist people who are homeless in obtaining all documents needed to apply for housing (birth certificates, ID cards, etc.), accompany people to housing related appointments & other necessary social service or benefit meetings, and use their in-depth knowledge of local systems to keep the process running smoothly. Included in the role is follow-up and assistance with the tenant and landlord should disputes arise. The ultimate goal of the proposed Housing Navigator is to eliminate barriers and bureaucratic hurdles to housing so that people can move from the streets & shelters into housing as quickly as possible.



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