The office estimates one out of every five jail inmates is at risk of homelessness when they come out. The program has served about 500 inmates in its first year, but hasn't been able to meet the growing demand. With a private "pay for success" investment, they're poised to massively scale up in the coming months.
Pay for success is a new concept to L.A. County, but has been used elsewhere to encourage government agencies to innovate by outsourcing some of the financial risk of trying something new to the private sector. In this instance, a group of private investors, including United Healthcare and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, has given ODR funds to scale the program to 300 new clients--and if successful, the county pays the investors back.
The overall goal, Buchanan said, is to reduce the number of people in the justice system who have mental health and substance use disorders.
"We're using supportive housing as a health care intervention," she said.Read More