Abstract for: Homelessness and Housing First Policy: A Case Study of Los Angeles Homelessness

The objective of the article is to assess Housing First policy that aims to ameliorate existing homeless crisis in Los Angeles, California. System dynamics modeling approach not only allows us to capture the nonlinear relationship between housing programs and homeless population, but also simultaneously evaluate how feedback loops between housing programs and homeless population affect one other. The empirical data shows that the growing trends in homeless population and permanent supportive housing inventory coincide. The simulation result also suggests that the rapid rehousing program, which is the predominant strategy of easing homelessness and has been used nationwide, isn't effective and efficient in dealing with Los Angeles homelessness. In addition, I find that the increase in rapid rehousing program leads to the increase in homeless population. Despite of the negative impact of the rapid rehousing strategy, the simulated result suggests that if the County can make the rapid rehousing program more suitable to meet the needs of LA homeless people, the homeless crisis will be alleviated in the coming 5 years.