Since 1995, the Pasadena Partnership to End Homelessness has served as the lead agency for the Pasadena Continuum of Care. The Continuum of Care (CoC) is a planning process implemented by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 1994. As one of the largest sources of federal funding for programs that address the needs of people who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless, HUD recognized the need for a more coordinated, collaborative, and community-driven approach to allocating resources to communities. The Continuum of Care process is the process by which communities identify local needs, develop strategies, and submit a single application to HUD for funding for programs designed to meet the needs in the community.
The Pasadena Partnership is governed by a Board of Directors composed of representatives from the community. In its role as the lead agency for the CoC, the Pasadena Partnership promotes integrated, community-wide strategies and plans to prevent and end homelessness; provides coordination among the numerous local organizations and initiatives that serve the homeless population, and manage the CoC’s single, comprehensive grant application to HUD for McKinney-Vento funding which includes Continuum of Care funds and State Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) funds.
Homelessness in Pasadena
Hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children struggle to find a home for themselves and their families. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, over 575,000 people struggle to find a home for themselves and their families every day.
In Pasadena, over 600 men, women and children find themselves homeless on any given night. Some have temporary respite in emergency shelters. Others are working their way towards self-sufficiency in transitional housing. The majority, however, are sleeping on the streets or in abandoned buildings in severe living conditions that put their lives at risk. Every person has his or her own barriers to housing: a lost job, domestic violence, mental illness, or drug or substance abuse.
The Pasadena Partnership believes that as a community, we can end homelessness. The solution is surprisingly simple – housing.
The Pasadena Partnership to End Homelessness is dedicated to planning and developing evidence-based strategies to prevent and end homelessness in Pasadena, CA.
In order to end homelessness, we cannot simply manage the problem through emergency services and supports such as shelters and soup kitchens. When people begin to depend on emergency services, without access to permanent housing and necessary supports, this leads to declining health and well-being, and an uncertain future.
We believe that the solution to homelessness is simple: permanent housing. Stable housing is the foundation upon which people build their lives–absent a safe, decent, affordable place to live, it is next to impossible to achieve good health, positive educational outcomes, or reach one’s economic potential. Providing an immediate connection to permanent housing and then providing services as needed (i.e. Housing First) can ensure that over 80% of homeless individuals remain housed, even among persons with severe substance abuse and mental health conditions.
As Pasadena has shifted focus towards a housing first model, the Pasadena Partnership has re-oriented its emergency shelters to facilitate this new focus. Thus, emergency services such as emergency shelters and basic services have become a pathway to permanent housing, providing temporary shelter and assessment to match homeless individuals with the most appropriate housing.
This approach is working! Since implementing a housing first model in 2011, the City of Pasadena has seen a decrease in homelessness by 53%.