Los Angeles County Office of Diversion and Reentry's Supportive Housing Program

A Study of Participants' Housing Stability and New Felony Convictions

by Sarah B. Hunter, Adam Scherling

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Research Questions

  1. Who is using the program?
  2. What is the housing stability rate among program users?
  3. What is the rate of new felonies committed among program users?

Los Angeles County is home to the largest jail system in the world and has one of the most acute homelessness problems in the United States, with nearly 59,000 people experiencing homelessness there. Because of the lack of affordable housing and social services in the community, LA County jail has seen an increase in the number of individuals with complex clinical needs. A recent initiative designed to tackle these issues is the Department of Health Services' Office of Diversion and Reentry's supportive housing program, which provides housing coupled with case management. This report presents early interim findings about this program. Researchers found six-month and 12-month housing stability rates of 91 percent and 74 percent, respectively. Of the cohort that had been placed in housing more than a year ago, 14 percent had new felony convictions.

Key Findings

From April 2016 through April 2019, 311 participants were enrolled

  • The average age was 39 years old (range between 20 and 69).
  • The majority were male and African-American.
  • Seventy-eight percent of the population suffered from at least one mental health disorder and nearly 40 percent had both a mental health and substance use disorder.
  • Individuals without a behavioral health diagnosis (less than 3 percent) qualified because of a serious physical health issue or pregnancy.

Housing stability was favorable

  • Housing stability rates were calculated for two groups: people who had received housing for at least six months or for at least 12 months.
  • The six-month housing stability rate was 91 percent; the 12-month housing stability rate was 74 percent.

Felony rates were measured for the 12-month cohort

  • Of a total of 96, 13 individuals had been convicted of a new felony during the 12 months after being housed, for a 14-percent qualifying return rate. Three other individuals had pending felony charges.

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was funded by Brilliant Corners and conducted by the Justice Policy Program within RAND Social and Economic Well-Being.

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