Mission: Beyond Shelter’s mission is: to develop systemic approaches to combat poverty and homelessness among families with children and to promote family economic security and well-being. Beyond Shelter accomplishes its goals through the following strategies: 1) responsive service delivery; 2) people-centered community development; and 3) the creation of knowledge for social change. Beyond Shelter’s programs in Los Angeles, California, serve as a “laboratory for social change.” Primary among the agency’s initiatives is the Housing First approach to ending family homelessness, which is based firmly on a belief in the human right to housing. Beyond Shelter’s “Housing First” Program introduced a dramatic innovation in the field: the “housing first” approach, which is currently being adapted by organizations throughout the United States. In 1999, the Pew Partnership for Civic Change selected the Housing First Program as one of 19 “Solutions for America.”
Results: Since the inception of the Housing First Program in 1988, more than 5,000 families have been assisted to move out of shelters and into permanent, safe and affordable rental housing in residential neighborhoods.
Target demographics: Beyond Shelter serves very low-income and homeless families with children in Los Angeles County. The agency's Institute for Research, Training and Technical Assistance is the division of the organization that conducts research, publishes manuals and policy papers, and provides training to other organizations and cities throughout the United States in innovative methodologies, including "Housing First," which is now also referred to as "Rapid Re-Housing."
Direct beneficiaries per year: 4,000
Geographic areas served: Los Angeles County, and national for consulting and advocacy
Programs: The "Housing First" Program for homeless families
Service-Enriched Housing for families and seniors
Neighborhood Revitalization Project in South Los Angeles
The Institute for Research, Training and Technical Assistance (offering consulting, training and resources nationwide)
I have lived in downtown Los Angeles for nine years (I relocated from New York City). When I first arrived in my new Loft I could not understand why there were so many homeless families on the streets in one of America's largest Cities. I went on a quest to attempt to understand the issues and what organizations were working on the problem. I was directed to Tanya Tull, and Beyond Shelter. Shortly after meeting Tanya, and learning about Beyond Shelter I join the board of Directors. I have worked with non-profit organizations my whole life. Beyond Shelter's work by far is the important work being done to address the homeless family's issue! The organization has provided a much needed support system that is changing Los Angeles, the United States, and is modeling programs that can be used worldwide.
Beyond Shelter is hands down the most effective non-profit I have ever encountered. Its staff and volunteers' passionate commitment to its mission--ending family homelessness--translates to results. When I decided to get involved in a non-profit that deals with the tragedy of homelessness, I looked at many agencies in Los Angeles. What brought me to volunteer, and later join its Board of Directors, was both its focus on families, and the achievements and commitment of its diverse staff. Not only do they help individuals get out of temporary emergency shelters into permanent residences, they provide critical support in terms of job training and placement, child care, and other assistance so that the vast majority of their clients never have to experience homelessness again. I could not be more proud of any agency. I only wish we could do more, help more people. If Beyond Shelter receives additional funding, they can expand their nationally-recognized program to help even more families in Los Angeles. They also impact individuals around the country, through their trainings conducted by Beyond Shelter's Institute for Research.