Identifying the Service Needs of Homeless Individuals in the Skid-Row Community
Ahmad Elhaija, Nathan Chu
Affiliation: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Published: April 12, 2023
Abstract: Skid Row is a neighborhood in Los Angeles with a large unhoused population. Individuals experiencing homelessness do not have their multitude of needs met with the services provided by existing support systems. The goal of this study is to evaluate the needs of individuals experiencing homelessness in the Skid Row community and to identify solutions aimed at meeting the identified needs. The International Collegiate Health Initiative (ICHI), a 501(c)-3 nonprofit based in Los Angeles, conducted a community-focused needs assessment and a comprehensive review of the literature regarding community-based solutions aimed at addressing the needs of the specific population. The ICHI team utilized a cross-sectional survey approach to conduct a community-focused needs assessment of adults experiencing homelessness in Skid Row. Descriptive analysis of the data collected reveals unmet needs in regards to individual health, social support, and employment among individuals experiencing homelessness. The data also reveals service priorities regarding mental health care, medical care, and employment services, which align with prior literature regarding needs among the adult population in Skid Row. There is potential to meet the needs of the unhoused population residing in Skid Row through community-based projects and public health interventions.