Journalism and Mass Communications, College of


Project H.A.L.O. - Homelessness in Southern California

Date of this Version

Spring 2022

Document Type



Zahler, C. (2022, April 27.), Project H.A.L.O. Podcast [Presentation Slides]. Google Slides.


Full podcast episodes are linked on the last slide.

Copyright © 2022 Crystal Zahler


The homeless population continues to rise, and it only becomes more detrimental over time. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority results of the 2020 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count showed that 66,436 people in Los Angeles County were experiencing homelessness. In the previous year, 2019, Los Angeles County had a count of 58,936 homeless people. From 2019 to 2020, there was a 12.7% rise in homelessness across the county. This podcast aims to uncover solutions that are proving beneficial and alternate actions that may help get to a functional zero of people experiencing homelessness in Southern California. Functional zero would be having enough shelters, housing, and services to help anyone at any given time who falls into homelessness. Interviews were done with professionals researching solutions, non-profit organization volunteer managers, homelessness policy professionals, and people who previously experienced homelessness. The results reveal that the main cause of homelessness is lack of affordable housing. Secondary problems that may be exacerbated or become introduced are substance abuse, domestic violence, mental health, or physical disabilities. Solutions vary based on each person’s experience, but supportive housing is usually key. Permanent or interim supportive housing incorporates affordable housing with intensive coordinated services to help people who may be susceptible to chronic homelessness or are in general need of assistance. Preventing homelessness by helping those on the brink is another vital part, because once a person experiences that trauma, it can lead to PTSD and a lack of trust in others.