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live / 2016

Save A Life

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Homeless Health Care Los Angeles

Since 2011, the rate of opioid overdoses has more than tripled in LA County; this epidemic is completely preventable if people were aware of and had access to the lifesaving drug, naloxone.

Please describe your project proposal.

Los Angeles and the rest of the country are experiencing an opioid epidemic, and drug overdose deaths are now the leading cause of unintended death in the US, over car accidents. Help HHCLA save lives via its naloxone distribution program that empowers people to make a real impact in this increasing epidemic. HHCLA clients have reported over 1,000 overdose reversals to date and this number will only continue to grow with the proper training and resources.

Which of the live metrics will your proposal impact?​

  • Access to healthy food
  • Housing affordability
  • Healthcare access
  • Self-sufficiency
  • Resilient communities
  • Residents receiving coordinated healthcare services
  • Homelessness
  • Mental illness

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • County of Los Angeles

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to live?

HHCLA is dedicated to responding to the increasingly complicated health care issues of the Los Angeles area homeless and vulnerable populations. HHCLA does whatever is necessary to help unhoused individuals secure housing and to stay housed. All programing is based on the principles of Harm Reduction and creating a Trauma-Informed Care environment, where participants are treated with respect, no judgement, and recognized as the primary leader in improving their quality of life. By providing a full suite of services for participants— such as behavioral healthcare, health services, housing, syringe exchange, overdose prevention, and an array of supportive services, HHCLA seeks to reduce the impact of homelessness in LA County. Since 1985, over 150,000 homeless men, women, and children have received services from HHCLA leading toward an improved quality of life and recovery from health, mental health and substance use issues.

Over 1,000 individuals have been trained with HHCLA’s LA County Certified Overdose Prevention Program. In 2015 alone, an estimated 1,700 naloxone kits were distributed. An opioid overdose is preventable and reversible with the use of this lifesaving drug! Naloxone, an “opioid antagonist” medication is used to counter the effects of an opioid overdose, from morphine, heroin, or various prescription opiate painkillers.

HHCLA’s underlying objectives are to positively impact the communities of Los Angeles, and:

  • Help individuals reduce the harm they are causing to themselves in a nonjudgmental approach
  • Improve each Angelino’s quality of life
  • Contribute in making Los Angeles a safer, healthier, and better place to live

HHCLA utilizes best practices to train individuals and agencies in overdose prevention and on how to do this critical lifesaving work. HHCLA is to the go-to group and its collective expertise is highly effective. HHCLA is in need of new funding streams because in order to do this kind of innovation and work, it is still nonetheless hard to find funding. HHCLA has found that offering such an array of services and not focusing on a more specific one-way approach towards helping others can create a challenge to raise funds to operate in this inclusive manner. HHCLA recognizes first and foremost that the most vulnerable people will die if they are unable to receive such comprehensive aid. Individuals are treated in a “whatever it takes” approach towards ensuring they receive the help they need.

If fully funded, HHCLA will be able to accomplish the following:

  • Provide at least 5,000 overdose prevention trainings and kits
  • Distribute at least 10,000 naloxone doses (provided in the overdose kit)

According to LA County, 1 death could be prevented for every 227 naloxone kits distributed. Be part of curbing this epidemic!

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

Because of HHCLA, Los Angeles region’s most vulnerable population has the resources and linkages to care to lead healthier, informed lives. And everyone in the community benefits when they do.

HHCLA’s plan for defining and measuring success is designed to create and sustain a culture of continuous quality improvement, and client involvement in the operations of the program and commitment to provide the highest quality services. The agency’s comprehensive plan ensures that resources are consistently available to conduct Quality Control, Assurance, and Improvement processes and activities within the agency. Essential strategies HHCLA uses to solicit feedback include: 1) conducting needs assessments to identify gaps in services or program needs; 2) administering client satisfaction surveys on a quarterly basis; 3) staff surveys/input; 4) conducting program evaluations to assess the effectiveness of the services being provided; 5) staff trainings; 6) productivity standards; and 7) performance evaluations. Examples of utilization review activities include: number of overdose prevention trainings provided to clients and local agencies, number of naloxone/overdose prevention kits distributed, review of access to services; and program participation rates.

While these efforts support the overall goal of the plan to define and measure success, true success is every time an overdose is reversed via HHCLA and the community’s efforts. Success means saving lives.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money
  • Volunteers
  • Advisors/board members
  • Staff
  • Publicity/awareness
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles
  • etc.)
  • Education/training
  • Technical infrastructure (computers
  • etc.)
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support
  • Quality improvement research