AI-powered program fights homelessness in Los Angeles

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In a bid to combat the ongoing homelessness crisis, Los Angeles County is using artificial intelligence (AI) to identify and support individuals at the highest risk of becoming homeless.

This pioneering pilot program analyzes data from seven county agencies, including medical visits, mental health care, substance abuse diagnoses, arrests, and public benefit sign-ups, to identify those most vulnerable to homelessness.

Dedicated case managers then reach out to these individuals, offering comprehensive support for four to six months, including access to $4,000 to $6,000 in aid to cover essential expenses like rent, utilities, and groceries. This assistance is designed to stabilize not only their housing but also their overall well-being.

Ricky Brown, a recipient of this aid, represents the program’s positive impact. Facing financial hardship after taking in his grandsons, Brown received assistance to address critical needs like car repairs, overdue rent, and food aid for the children.

The challenge remains in securing affordable housing for families like Brown’s due to a shortage of federal housing vouchers. Despite this challenge, the program has already aided 560 individuals and shows promising results. A long-term study is underway to assess its effectiveness, but the hope is to prove its scalability and make it a model for addressing homelessness nationwide.

San Diego County has already taken steps to implement a similar program, embracing predictive analytics to battle homelessness.

With funding running until 2026, the hope is to prove the program’s scalability and make it a model for addressing homelessness nationwide.

The sources for this piece include an article in NPR.

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