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Hope for the Hardest Cases

Santa Monica’s chronic homelessness interventions show promising results By Gary Walker As Los Angeles-area communities grapple with rising homeless populations despite increased government spending to combat homelessness, a newly published RAND Corporation study documents positive outcomes of a Santa Monica initiative that intensely focuses social services delivery on some of the city’s most challenging cases. In short, the study finds that proactive social services interventions for the chronically homeless can greatly reduce the frequency of their negative interactions with police, fire and other emergency responders in the process. From September 2016 to June 2018, RAND researchers tracked the efforts of Santa Monica’s city-funded Homeless Multidisciplinary Street Team, which includes housing and substance abuse case managers, a medical doctor, psychiatrist, physician assistant and a formerly homeless peer support specialist. The city contracts with local nonprofit The People Concern to operate the team, and The People Concern has a contract with Venice Family Clinic to provide field-based services. “What makes this approach so unique is that it allows us to engage with the people with the most need and a population that is among the hardest to engage with. Less than 10% of the entire unhoused population in Santa Monica is chronically homeless” (meaning without shelter for at least five years), said Alisa Orduña, Santa Monica’s senior adviser on homelessness. Santa Monica initially invested $600,000 in the program to target 26 homeless...

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Google Venice Joins Walkouts

By Christina Campodonico Google employees across the globe walked off the job Thursday morning to protest the internet company’s handling of sexual harassment cases — a $90-million payout to former Google executive Andy Rubin and cover-up of a misconduct claim against him prompting much of the massive demonstration. In New York City, hundreds of Googlers left the tech giant’s Chelsea office to flood a nearby park. In San Francisco, about a 1,000 employees assembled in a plaza in front of the historic Ferry Building, chanting “Women’s rights are workers’ rights!” In contrast, the demonstration held at the company’s Venice...

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Strutting their Stuff

Aspiring dancers vie for a chance to work with L.A. cheer and dance royalty Christy Buss By Brian Marks It’s a pleasantly breezy and cool June afternoon in El Segundo, but inside Christy Curtis Buss’ dance space — The Studio Art of Dance — the climate is closer to sweltering. Amid this heat of expectation, a dozen or so dancers, all women, are stretching in preparation for their audition to be part of Buss’ upcoming Las Vegas production, “Floored: The Show,” a survey of dance from its earliest origins up through contemporary styles. Buss, who was formerly married to...

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Letters

Housing Market Needs Inventory to Thrive Re: “2018 Predictions (Home Values),” Opinion, Jan. 11 Quoting the California Association of Realtors is of little utility. Those averages weigh in areas of the state that have nothing to do with Los Angeles and especially the Westside, where tech and digital media are driving our economy and housing prices. Bummer about the tax changes. Otherwise, we could afford to care a lot less about minor interest rate bumps. The real wild card is whether people stay longer in their existing homes because of the tax changes. Constrained inventory could strangle us. Tracy...

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