Santa Monica
Traditional Reporting for A Digital Age

Santa Monica Real Estate Company ROQUE & MARK Co.

Home Special Reports Archive Links The City Commerce About Contacts Editor Send PR

SMC to Launch State's First Homelessness Services Certificate Program


Bob Kronovetrealty
We Love Property Management Headaches!

Welcome to Santa Monica.  Good Vibes Start Here.

Santa Monica College
1900 Pico Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 434-4000



By Jorge Casuso

May 7, 2024 -- This fall semester, Santa Monica College (SMC) will launch California's first certificate program preparing students for careers in the homeless services field, school officials announced Monday.

The 25 students chosen for the program -- whiich was created in partnership with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) -- will receive full scholarships to cover nearly all costs, officials said.

The program will prepare students for entry-level positions at the hundreds of non-profit organizations that "have emerged" to provide services for the estimated 75,518 people who are homeless on any given night in LA County, SMC officials said.

“The homelessness crisis in Los Angeles County has reached devastating proportions," said SMC Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery.

"As a higher education institution committed to helping bring about needed change and serving the most vulnerable amongst us, we at Santa Monica College are honored to partner with LAHSA in creating a solution.

“The students who finish this program will be poised to become tomorrow’s leaders in the sector, to bring about just, equitable, and sustainable change,” Jeffery said.

While Measure H -- a 1/4-cent sales tax approved by LA County voters in 2017 -- generates approximately $350 million a year to tackle homelessness, "nearly 1,300 entry-level jobs go unfilled," according to County officials.

“LAHSA knows how challenging it can be to rehouse our unsheltered neighbors without a complete workforce,” said Dr. Va Lecia Adams Kellum, CEO of LAHSA.

"This first-of-its-kind program," Adams Kellum said, "will directly support the training of qualified workers who will enter the workforce with specific knowledge that will help address the crisis on our streets.”

The program, facilitated through the SMC Office of Workforce & Economic Development and housed in the school's Business Department, is funded by a nearly $750,000 contract awarded by LAHSA.

The funding covers costs that include marketing, faculty salaries, student laptops, mentorship and other wraparound student services, SMC officials said.

Students who complete the fieldwork also "have the opportunity to be mentored by seasoned professionals in the homeless service sector."

The curriculum, which was developed with help from industry experts, includes Introduction to Workforce Training within the Homeless Response System and Promoting Health Equity, Advocacy and Human Engagement.

Other course are Implementing Effective Practices in the Homeless Response System, Internship -- Experience Working in the Homeless Response System and Homeless Response System Capstone Class Fieldwork Reflection and Career Planning.

“There’s definitely a need for intensive support and training for those entering this field,” said Celina Alvarez, executive director of Housing Works of California, who helped design the course.

“This line of work is challenging," Alvarez said. "The human suffering that frontline workers witness happens far too often.”

Interested students can learn more at

Back to Lookout News copyrightCopyright 1999-2024 All Rights Reserved. EMAIL Disclosures