People who have experienced homelessness in Los Angeles County echo The Committee’s previous reports in calling for centralized leadership, coordination, and accountability on homelessness. 

APRIL 13, 2022 (Los Angeles, CA) — Today, The Committee for Greater LA (CGLA)—a nonpartisan group of civic leaders with the shared vision of using the pandemic recovery as an opportunity to advance a more equitable Los Angeles—released the findings of focus group research on lived expertise on homelessness. The findings echo insights garnered in previous research commissioned by The Committee in calling for centralized leadership, coordination, and accountability as critical to reducing homelessness.


“The system that services the unhoused population in Los Angeles lacks regional accountability. People experiencing homelessness feel this fragmentation the most,” said Miguel A. Santana, Co-Chair of the Housing and Homelessness Action Team of the Committee, and President and CEO of the Weingart Foundation.  “Our conversations with people with lived experience clearly show a demand for regional coherence, the ability to hold a single entity accountable, and for that entity to set clear, measurable, and transparent benchmarks.”


Redstone and the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) conducted the focus group with people who have experienced homelessness to better understand their perspectives on governance challenges and solutions. Participants had all experienced homelessness in Los Angeles County and currently interact with the system as advocates, case managers, and advisors to various organizations and agencies.

“The joining and alignment of the system is what is so important,” said Amiyoko Shabazz, whose lived expertise guidance contributed to the research. “I don’t understand why everyone is in the same game, but they don’t act like partners. They act like competition, and that doesn’t help solve homelessness”

Participants in the focus groups highlighted the need for:

  • Centralized leadership and a regional strategy, to ensure resources are efficiently spent to address the needs of those experiencing homelessness.
  • Coordination among the County, cities, and Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA) to ensure adequate affordable housing supply and wraparound services before, during, and after homelessness.
  • Formal roles on the ground and in senior leadership for people with lived expertise.
  • An improved public narrative about people who experience homelessness

“The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is committed to supporting efforts to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-reoccurring. Central to our work and values is amplifying the voices and leadership of people who are currently experiencing or have experienced homelessness,” said Peter Laugharn, Co-Chair of the Housing and Homelessness Action Team of The Committee for Greater LA, and President and CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.  “As this report shows, their input and ideas are critical toward the development and implementation of solutions for homelessness.”

The Committee commissioned the research to build on the insight garnered in their initial report We’re Not Giving Up: A Plan for Homelessness Governance in Los Angeles, and focus group research with voters to assess their attitudes on homelessness where they shared their lack of faith in local government to address homelessness.

The lived expertise focus group findings were shared today in a session on Homelessness Governance, co-presented by Laugharn and Santana, during the Los Angeles Business Council Mayoral Housing, Transportation & Jobs Summit. In addition to today’s public release of the lived expertise research findings, the Committee hosted a briefing for service providers on April 12. The lived expertise report is available at the Committee for Greater LA website.