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Agency for Homeless Plans Valley Meeting

October 22, 1996|DARRELL SATZMAN

For the first time since it was established in 1994, the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA) will hold its monthly commission meeting in the San Fernando Valley.

The San Fernando Valley Homeless Coalition, which represents more than 70 Valley organizations, will host the meeting Thursday at the Pacoima Community Service Center.

LAHSA is an umbrella organization, run jointly by the city of Los Angeles and the county, that provides funding to nonprofit groups offering direct services to the homeless.

In 1994, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded a three-year, $20-million grant to LAHSA to help the homeless through a variety of services, including medical care, drug and alcohol rehabilitation and emergency and permanent housing. This year, LAHSA received $71.2 million from HUD.

"Our new mantra is continuum of care," said Marlene Singer, LAHSA program manager. "The whole idea is to discover what gaps there are in services and to prevent people from falling through the cracks."

Officials at the Valley's homeless coalition said LAHSA's decision to hold the meeting in Pacoima was part of the agency's effort to establish a better working relationship with homeless-service providers in the Valley.

While 14% of the county's homeless are in the San Fernando Valley, less than 5% of the initial $20 million granted to LAHSA was distributed here, leading some Valley organizations to complain that the area is not receiving its fair share of resources.

"I think they wanted to respond to those concerns and meet them head on," Valley homeless coalition Chairman John Horn said of LAHSA officials.

"One of the big reasons why they are coming here is to show that they are concerned with homelessness in the Valley," Horn said.

The meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. Thursday at the Pacoima Community Service Center, 11243 Glenoaks Blvd.

For more information, call the San Fernando Valley Homeless Coalition at (818) 834-5179.

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