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)
Beyond Shelter is an A+ agency. They treat clients as if they were family. They don't judge and they work hard to help people get back on their feet. Their goal is to help families overcome barriers to housing and provide ongoing support to them while homeless and after they move into housing. They also assist families with social activities for the kids such Summer and Winter Camp, classes for arts and crafts and dance classes. In addition, they connect families with resources to assist families with their needs. This is a great agency and it can alway use more funding to keep providing the great services that they provide.