The Westside Shelter and Hunger Coalition (WSHC) is a non-profit volunteer organization that operates under the administrative umbrella of Community Partners. The Coalition was founded in 1982 to serve the Westside of Los Angeles County and is the oldest Coalition in the County working on behalf of the homeless. WSHC is an alliance of over 30 organizations, public agencies and faith communities committed to ending hunger and homelessness through service coordination, public education and advocacy. Throughout our history, the Coalition has proven to be an effective tool in providing high-quality programs and services for those in need in our community.
Coalition members work together to provide services that include initial intake and service referrals; showers, food and clothing; on-going case management; emergency, transitional and permanent housing; medical care; mental health treatment; HIV medical and social services; job training and placement; and substance abuse treatment.
Although individual agencies have the ability to provide separate services for people in need, the efforts of the coalition help coordinate all services on the Westside in order to provide a true continuum of service care for the community.
As of two years ago, the Coalition expanded its scope and also became the Service Provider Network (SPN) for SPA 5 through a grant from the Office of AIDS Program and Policies. The SPN brings together HIV/AIDS service providers to bridge gaps and strengthen services throughout the area. This allows us to expand our already existing HIV services in order to offer the best possible care to our HIV+ clientele, as well as to those at high risk for HIV.
Over the past year, the WSHC/SPN has been very active, participating in the planning efforts of Los Angeles County's 10-year plan to end homelessness. Member agencies have been instrumental in Santa Monica?s chronic homeless project, as well as continuing to advocate for low income and homeless people at the local, state and national levels. There is renewed energy concerning homelessness and our focus in the coming year will be to stay engaged and channel that energy into holistic and lasting solutions to this social problem.