L.A. County was ranked as #1 in California for the number of overdose deaths in 2021 during the pandemic – 3,172 fatalities. This represents a staggering 63% rise in overdose deaths here between January 2020 and March 2021. The Homeless Mortality Report released by the Department of Public Health (DPH) in December 2020, found that drug and alcohol overdose is the leading cause of death among People Experiencing Homelessness (PEH) in L.A. County. Our Building Communities of Recovery catchment area includes Metro Los Angeles which includes Skid Row -- the area with the highest homelessness rate in L.A. County at 37% and a poverty level of 79%, as well as South Los Angeles -- home to 16% of the county’s homeless, with the densest homeless population in L.A. outside of downtown.. Homeless people color and/or LGBTQ+ persons in these areas are the most isolated by drug/alcohol addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders -- and the most in need of recovery support.
Los Angeles Centers for Alcohol and Drug Abuse (L.A. CADA) is a nonprofit behavioral healthcare agency operated by peers on every level since 1971. Our project will serve 75 homeless adults with substance use disorder (SUD) or co-occurring SUD and mental health disorders BCOR each year for three years, specifically those who are LGBTQ+ and/or persons of color in the Metro L.A. Area. Most will participate for a period of six months or more.
Los Angeles is ranked Category 4 of 10 as an under-resourced community, and there is no entity uniting providers, stakeholders, and peers in recovery here. L.A. CADA will create a Community Advisory Board comprising peers in recovery to mobilize and connect a broad base of community-based resources to increase the prevalence and quality of long-term recovery support for homeless persons at highest risk for substance use disorders (SUD) and co-occurring substance use and mental disorders (COD) in Metro L.A. The CAB will advise and guide L.A. CADA’s BCOR project: The Body, Mind, and Spirit Center.
This project will enhance/expand recovery support services (RSS) for our population of focus, including promotion and education focused on recovery. L.A. CADA will implement the program from our Metro L.A. (Skid Row) and Hollywood facilities to serve as a base for delivery of needed Peer Recovery Support Services (PRSS). Peers graduates of L.A. CADA treatment programs with lived experience in SUD/COD and recovery will:
1) Design and deliver street-based outreach to PEH, with brief risk assessment and education on harm reduction and recovery;
2) Provide referral and transportation to L.A. CADA facilities where participants will access direct services for: social support, linkage to allied service providers, participation in a network of community/human services that facilitate a full array of human services for recovery, wellness, and, education on stigma-reduction; and
3) Facilitate peer participation in recovery support groups and psycho-education activities.